WTT Contender Tunis: Selena Selvakumar only Indian qualifier to make main draw

Selena Selvakumar survived three rounds of qualifiers to advance to the main draw. Nine other Indian table tennis players failed to advance beyond the qualifying rounds.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by 2006 DAGOC

Young Indian table tennis player Selena Selvakumar qualified for the main draw of the women’s singles at the WTT Contender Tunis 2021 at the Salle Omnisport de Rades in Tunisia on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Selena will join Indian aces Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in the main round.

In the third and final round of the women’s singles qualifiers, Selena Selvakumar produced a terrific comeback against Marwa Alhodaby of Egypt, converting a 2-1 deficit to a 3-2 (10-12, 12-10, 12-10, 5-11, 2-11) victory.

Selena Selvakumar was the only Indian to advance to the main draw from the qualifiers.

Earlier, Madhurika Patkar, who had received a bye in the first round, fell in the final hurdle, losing to Sweden’s Christina Kallberg 3-1 (11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 4-11). The Swede had defeated another Indian, Anannya Basak, in the previous preliminary round.

India’s Krittwika Roy also went out in the third round against Leili Mostafavi of France while Diya Parag Chitale lost to Yuan Wan of Germany. Sreeja Akula, the sixth and final Indian female in the competition, was also unsuccessful in making the final cut.

Meanwhile, India’s dismal campaign continued in the men’s singles as none of the four table tennis players could advance to the main draw.

Manav Thakkar, the Asian championship doubles bronze medallist, was the only India to reach the third qualifying round but lost to Filip Zeljko of Croatia 3-1 (11-7, 5-11, 7-11, 6-11).

Earlier, Harmeet Desai, who partnered Manav Thakkar at the Asian meet, exited the qualifiers in the second round while Snehit Suravajjula and Mudit Dani could not make it past the opener.

Harmeet and Manav, however, will still compete in the men’s doubles. Harmeet partners G Sathiyan and Manav Thakkar teams up with Sharath Kamal.

The main draw of the WTT Contender Tunis begins on Wednesday.

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