Sat. Dec 3rd, 2022
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Manika Batra becomes the first Indian woman to reach the semifinals of the Asian Cup of table tennis in 2022.

Manika placed her forehand there. Once more, a game. None more so than during the match’s last rally, which gave the Indian a 4-2 lead. Manika began hitting back in kind, one forehand after another, until the ball slipped past Chen’s grasp as Chen kept returning high, loopy balls from far behind the table. After that, Chen won four straight games before Manika tied the score at seven. Manika crossed the line at second crack after a key unreturned serve for 9-8 and one match point. She got lost somewhere while attempting to use the standard tactic of staying in the rally, which these top players are already so adept at. She’s doing well since regaining her attacking forehand side, and it’s paying off.

Table Tennis players Manika Batra and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan created history by becoming the first Indian mixed doubles pair to enter the top five of the ITTF #TableTennis World Rankings. pic.twitter.com/T8Hck1t2DI

— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) November 8, 2022

In the quarterfinal, Manika Batra needed seven games to defeat Chen Szu Yu of Chinese Taipei. The Indian will compete against Mima Ito, who won the bronze medal at Tokyo 2020. Batra of India won a thrilling women’s singles last-eight match against Chen Szu Yu of Chinese Taipei on Friday to advance as the first Indian woman to the semi-finals of the Asian Cup.

In a match at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, Manika Batra, the 44th-ranked player in the world, defeated Chen Szu Yu, the 23rd-ranked player, 4-3.

After losing the first game, Manika Batra found herself on the defensive in the quarterfinal, but she recovered to lead 3-1 after winning the next three. After two difficult games, Chen Szu Yu managed to tie the match and force a deciding.

In the seventh game, the Indian made a valiant effort to advance to the final four and write the historic feat. The only Indian table tennis player to take home a medal at the Asian Cup is former men’s singles player Chetan Baboor. In 1997 and 2000, he won a silver and a bronze. In the previous round, Chen Xingtong of China, ranked No. 7, was shocked by Manika Batra.

Mima Ito of Japan, who won the gold in mixed doubles and the bronze in women’s singles at Tokyo 2020, will be her opponent in the semifinal match. The current No. 5 in the world has also won team bronze and silver at the Olympics.

The world No. 39 in men’s singles, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, and the 44th-ranked Sharath Kamal, India’s national champion, were eliminated in the first round.

The Indian star eliminated world No. 23 Chen in the quarterfinals of the tournament the day after defeating World No. 7. Chinese No. 5, Chinese Taipei No. 1: Manika Batra has had a few days in Bangkok where she has killed several giants. The weapon was her ferocious, flattening forehand play.

The post Manika Batra becomes the first Indian woman to reach the semifinals of the Asian Cup of table tennis in 2022. appeared first on SportsUnfold.

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