WTT Contender: Indian challenge ends in Doha as Sharath Kamal surrenders to Lin Yun-Ju
G Sathiyan and Sutirtha Mukherjee gave a walkover in mixed doubles
Star Indian paddler Sharath Kamal's campaign at the WTT Contender in Doha ended as he crashed out against Lin Yun-Ju of Taiwan in the men's singles round of 16 clash on Thursday.
Kamal, a record nine times national champion, was defeated 11-6, 11-4, 11-8 in straight games by Yun-Ju. This was his first international tournament since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After a hard-fought win against Pavel Sirucek in the previous round, he struggled to find his rhythm against his Taiwanese opponent. In the first game, he relied on counter-attacks to steal points but Yun-Ju's pace and guile were too much for the Indian to handle.
In the second game, the 19-year-old was almost unplayable as he kept serving with finesse and precision as Kamal struggled to match the quality of his opponent. It was evident that Kamal was not in his best form as he looked sluggish which further helped the world number seven to run away with the second game 11-4.
In the third game, Kamal tried all the tricks in his sleeve to stage a comeback but fell short of doing so. Yun-Ju kept piling on the pressure and ultimately pocketed the match in straight games.
Meanwhile, in mixed doubles, G Sathiyan and Sutirtha Mukherjee gave a walkover. They were supposed to face the French pair of Lebesson Emmanuel and Yuan Jia Nan.
With their exit, the Indian challenge came to an end in Doha. Previously, Sathiyan failed to progress in singles beyond the round of 32 as he faltered against a strong opponent in World No. 20 Aruna Quadri (7-11, 4-11, 8-11).
In the women's singles qualifiers, Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula lost their round 4 matches and could not qualify for the main draw.