New Delhi, India’s star player Manika Batra suffered a twin blow on Day 3 of Ultimate Table Tennis, featuring in two crushing defeats and handing Goa Challengers a massive 11-4 victory over RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata here on Saturday.
Manika first capitulated 0-3 in the opening Women’s Singles encounter to compatriot Archana Kamath, giving the 19-year-old her biggest victory in her blossoming career.
Manika then lost 1-2 in the mixed doubles too, pairing up with World No. 55 Benedikt Duda, to see her team RP-SG Mavericks Kolkata slide to a huge loss.
The rechristened Goan team rode on Archana’s early coup to demolish a seemingly strong RP-SG in each of the first four clashes, with Spain’s Alvaro Robles and Amalraj Anthony/Cheng I-Ching scoring 2-1 wins in the Men’s singles and mixed doubles.
India’s Amalraj followed up his good show with another upset, beating Germany’s Benedikt in the second men’s singles.
Earlier, Archana started the victory march for the Challengers as she picked up a stunning victory over Indian TT’s golden girl Manika in the opening women’s singles match of the tie.
Archana, India’s only women paddler to have qualified for the semifinals of the Youth Olympics, got off to a fiery start racing to a 5-2 lead. Manika launched a strong comeback and leveled the score 7-7 with an exotic forehand smash. But Archana was in no mood to squander her chance and she raced to the game point with a powerful forehand return. Manika managed to save one game point but Archana eventually won the game 11-9.
The Challengers’ player was on a roll in the second game, cruising to a 7-4 lead.A
Manika did try to cut down the lead but Archana was all over her and pocketed the game 11-7 in a rather easy manner. Having already lost the match, RP-SG would have wanted their star player to salvage at least a point but Archana looked like a player possessed and sealed the game 11-3 to clinch all three points on offer.