Asian TT Championships: Manav Thakkar Upsets World No 33 To Enter Pre-Quarterfinals

23-year-old to face Chinese legend Ma Long in round of 16

Manav Thakkar in action

Young and promising Indian paddler Manav Thakkar pulled off a memorable 3-1 victory over world No 33 Kao Cheng-Jui to enter the men's singles pre-quarterfinals of the Asian Table Tennis Championships in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday.

The 23-year-old completed an 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7 victory over the South Korean in a round of 32 contest.

Thakkar, ranked 100, will next face arguably the greatest player of all time, Ma Long from China, in the round of 16.

On a day when the seasoned G Sathiyan and Sharath Kamal lost their round of 32 matches, another heartening performance came from the 170th-ranked Ayhika Mukherjee, who stretched the Olympic bronze medallist Chen Xingtong of China to five games, before going down in the women's singles round of 32.

Ayhika was on course for the biggest win of her career after taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five affair. However, the world No 4 fought back to take the next three games with the final scoreline reading 2-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-3 in favour of the Chinese.

In the men's doubles quarterfinals, Thakkar and Manush Shah lost to the formidable Chinese duo of Fan Zhendong and Lin Gaoyuan 5-11, 3-11, 5-11.

The women's doubles pairing of Ayhika and Sutirtha Mukherjee suffered a similar fate against the mighty Chinese pairing of Wang Manyu and Chen Meng, losing 5-11, 11-13, 10-12 in the last-eight stage.  

The Indian men had won a bronze in the preceding team events.

(With PTI inputs)