HomeNewsSaudi Smash 2024: Japan’s Hina Hayata Ends Manika Batra’s Table Tennis Run...
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Saudi Smash 2024: Japan’s Hina Hayata Ends Manika Batra’s Table Tennis Run in the Quarterfinals

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Manika Batra’s impressive performance at the Saudi Smash 2024 tournament came to an end in the women’s singles quarterfinals on Thursday, as she was defeated 1-4 by Japan’s Hina Hayata. This made her the first Indian woman table tennis player to reach the quarterfinal stage of a high-level WTT event. Batra, who had earlier defeated world number 14 Nina Mittelham, caused a significant upset by beating world number two Wang Manyu in the second round. She continued her remarkable streak in Saudi Arabia with a 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 victory over her German opponent in just 22 minutes on Wednesday.

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Despite this strong showing, Batra couldn’t maintain her momentum against world number 5 Hayata, losing 11-7, 6-11, 4-11, 11-13, 2-11. Batra’s earlier win over Mittelham was her first in four encounters, which set the stage for her match against Hayata, a formidable opponent. The Indian star entered the quarterfinals confident, as she had previously beaten Hayata to claim a historic bronze at the Asia Cup in 2022. Unfortunately, this time, the outcome was not in her favor.

Batra, presently positioned at 39th in the rankings, is poised to move into the top 25 after an outstanding week at this event. She stunned China’s Wang on Monday, following her first-round victory over Romania’s Andreea Dragoman, which was her inaugural win at a Grand Smash tournament.

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Best Table Tennis Racket - KreedOnAlso Read | Top 10 Best Table Tennis Racket for Beginners & Professionals

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