Youngsters Sreeja Akula and Archana Kamath were the only Indian table tennis players to make it to the second round at the WTT Star Contender Doha 2021 at the Lusail Sports Arena in Qatar on Wednesday.
Tokyo Olympian Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, however, bowed out of men’s doubles in the opening round.
Sreeja Akula beat Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova 3-2 (11-5, 8-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9) in the women’s singles round of 64. She will now face South Korea’s Suh Hyuwon.
Archana Kamath - a former U21 world No. 2 - beat Great Britain’s Tin-Tin Ho 3-1 (11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 11-8) in the round of 64. She will face Canada’s Mo Zhang next.
However, Archana Kamath’s campaign in the mixed doubles came to an early end. The team of Archana Kamath and Manav Thakkar lost 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-8) to Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong in the pre-quarterfinals.
India’s Harmeet Desai and Anthony Amalraj were also knocked out of the tournament.
The pair of Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar lost 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-8) to Japan’s Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami in the men’s doubles round of 16.
Harmeet Desai then lost his singles round of 64 encounter 3-0 (11-8, 12-10, 11-8) against Marcelo Aguirre of Paraguay.
Meanwhile, the team of Anthony Amalraj and G Sathiyan fell 3-1 (5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6) to Kazuhiro Yoshimura and Yuto Kizukuri of Japan in the men’s doubles round of 16.
Neither Manav Thakkar nor Anthony Amalraj had made the singles main draw.
Tokyo Olympian Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the world No. 39, will begin his men’s singles campaign against Croatia’s Andrej Gacina in the round of 32. The Indian had received a bye in the opening round.