Thrills and Triumphs: WTT Biella 2023 Unveils Indian Prowess on Day 1


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Manika Batra and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, the world No.10 mixed doubles team, qualified for the quarterfinals of the WTT Feeder Biella 2023 on Thursday, December 14, at the Biella Forum in Italy, however the latter was eliminated in the first round of the men’s singles tournament.

Andrea Pavlovic and Ivor Ban of Croatia were defeated in straight sets 11-3, 11-9, and 12-10 by Sathiyan and Manika. The top-ranked Indians in mixed doubles scored 18 points on their services and were efficient on the return, scoring 16 points on the opponents’ serve.

After a dominating opening game, the Croatians showed some grit, giving the Indians a run for their money by adding more points on their serve and pressing on the rallies. They were unable to deliver the closing touches, as Sathiyan and Manika triumphed by two points in the second and third games.

G Sathiyan fell to homeboy Niagol Stoyanov in the round of 64, losing 1-3 (7-11, 9-11, 11-4, and 8-11). The Tamil Nadu-born athlete led 7-4 and 8-3 in the second and fourth games, respectively, but each times it was wasted. The many unforced errors further exacerbated the situation.

Despite losing the first game, experienced paddler Sharath Kamal upset Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky 3-11, 11-6, 11-7, and 11-8 in another men’s singles tie. Unlike his opponent, Sharath did not build a large lead of more than five points in each game, but the 41-year-old made sure that the Czech never got beyond him in the last three games.

Manika Batra won a bye in the women’s singles round of 64 and will now face Oceane Gusinel of France. In the quarterfinals, Manika and Sathiyan will face Jan Valenta and Zdena Blaskova of the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, Sharath Kamal will face local favourite Antonino Amato in the round of 32.

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