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With Win Over Spain, Indian Women’s Team Advanced to Knockouts of World TT Championships

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The Indian women’s team secured a comeback victory against Spain, winning 3-2 in the final group match and advancing to the knockout stage of the World TT Championship on Tuesday. Despite being the stronger team on paper, India faced a tough challenge but managed to overcome the Spaniards after Sreeja Akula and Manika Batra lost the initial two singles matches.

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Ayhika Mukherjee contributed to India’s comeback by securing a win in the third singles of World TT Championship. Eventually, Manika and Sreeja returned to clinch victory in the fourth and fifth singles, propelling India to finish second in Group 1 with three wins in four games, the sole loss being against China.

To secure a spot in the Olympics, India must emerge victorious in both the round of 32 and subsequent round of 16 matches. In the opening singles, Sreeja suffered a narrow defeat to Maria Xiao, with a score of 9-11, 11-9, 11-13, 4-11. Spain took a 2-0 lead as Sofia-Xuan Zhang secured a win over India’s top-ranked player, Manika, with a score of 13-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7. Ayhika revived India’s chances by winning the third singles against Elvira Rad with a score of 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4. In the fourth singles, Manika bounced back to defeat Maria convincingly with a score of 11-9, 11-2, 11-4, leveling the overall score to 2-2. The tie was ultimately clinched by Sreeja, who secured a victory over Sofia-Xuan with scores of 11-6, 11-13, 11-6, 11-3.

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Notably, Ayhika and Sreeja had previously upset the world number one and two, Sun Yinghsa and Wang Yidi, in a closely contested match against China. Out of the 40 participating teams, the Indian women’s team qualified among the top 24 for the knockout phase. A quarterfinal finish in the competition would guarantee India a spot in the team event at the Paris Olympics.

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