Indian campaign ends at Singapore, Manika-Archana pair exits

Kolkata, Mar 15 : Indias’ campaign in the $2 million Singapore Smash 2000 came to an end with the quarterfinal exit of Manika Batra and Archana Kamath in women’s doubles on Tuesday. The second-seeded Japanese pair of Hina Hayata and Mima Ito needed just 25 minutes to dispose of the Indian duo 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 to enter the semifinals, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) said in a country-wide media release. Ranked No. 6 in doubles, Manika and Archana struggled against the left-right Japanese onslaught, but tackling left-hander Hayata’s powerful spins turned out to be a big ask. There was no respite for the Indians from the right-hander Ito either. Ito, with superb service variations, put them in the dock. Though the world No. 2 Japanese conceded seven points in the first game, they brought it down drastically in the second when the Indian duo not only made several unforced errors but failed time and again to capitalise on their service. Too many negative points to their opponents only hastened their end. In the third game, Manika and Archana found themselves trailing 3-5 and then 4-5. That was the closest they managed to reach as the Japanese kept themselves ahead, at least by three points, to wrap it up 11-8. The Indian players face their next challenge in the March 13-17 WTT Feeder Doha 2022. PC RN

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