Paddlers Sathiyan, Manika enter second round of WTT Contender Budapest


Tokyo Olympic-returned Indian paddlers Sathiyan Gunnasekaran and Manika Batra entered the pre-quarterfinals of their respective events at the WTT Contender Budapest 2021 tournament here.

While Gunnasekaran beat France’s Can Akkuzu 3-1 (14-12 11-5 7-11 11-4) in the men’s singles opening round, Manika got the better of Sabina Winter of Germany 3-2 (8-11 11-7 11-6 15-13 11-5).

In the next round, Gunnasekaran will be up against Niagol Stoyanov of Italy, while Manika will play Italy’s Giorgia Piccolin.

Among other Indians in fray, Harmeet Desai also progressed to the men’s singles second round, beating Csaba Andras of Hungary 3-2 (6-11 7-11 13-11 11-7 11-4), while Manav Thakkar beat Pavel Platanov of Belarus 3-0 (12-10 11-9 11-6).

Harmeet will Dang Qiu of Germany in the next round, while Manav will be up against Kirill Skachkov of Russia.

Among other Indian women in the competition, Archana Kamath also entered the second round with a 3-2 (11-8 11-9 6-11 5-11 11-9) win over Yana Noskova of Russia.

Archana will next play another Russian in Mariia Tailakova.

Sreeja Akula is the other Indian woman paddler to move into the round of 16 with a 3-2 (11-8 6-11 14-12 2-11 11-7) win over Linda Bergstrom of Sweden.

She will next face Barbora Balazova of Slovakia.