World table tennis contender: The Indian mixed duo of Manika Batra and Sathiyan Ganesvaran scripted history on Friday in the World Table tennis contender at Budapest, Hungary. They clinched the mixed doubles crown.
— Free Press Journal (@fpjindia) August 20, 2021
1st India pair to achieve the feat
Coming right after the Olympics, The mixed duo became the first Indian pair to clinch the mixed doubles title.
The final was a close contest. They faced hosts and favorites Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz of Hungary. The duo won 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6. The Indian duo was fairly confident. Their morale was boosted after beating World no 7 pairings of Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova of Slovakia in the quarterfinals.
The mixture of Manika’s attacking prowess and Sathiyan’s nimble footedness paid off. In the four rounds, the duo only lost 3 games.
Manika and Sathiyan gained 400 points and a total amount of $3000 and a strong start to the ITTF tour. Evidently, this was the first time they played together since clinching bronze at the 2018 Goldcoast Commonwealth Games. With this win, they will be looking to solidify the partnership and plan to take it to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
What about singles?
Meanwhile, Manika has reached the women’s singles semifinals after beating compatriot Sreeja Akula in the quarterfinals. Sathiyan will play in the Czech open later this week.
“I am very happy to win my first mixed title for India on the ITTF tour,” said M Batra.
“It is great that we were able to win the event with very little practice. It certainly shows what we can achieve as a pair. We were quite tactical and seemed to complement each other’s game,” G. Sathiyan told PTI.