Sports

WTT Contender: Diya Chitale-Sreeja Akula Pair Makes Semi-Finals

In a battle that stretched to the fullest, Sreeja and Diya lost the first game, but fought back to win the next two to snatch a 2-1 lead.

The Indian pair will face Suthasini Sawettabut and Orawan Paranang in the semis.
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Continuing their splendid run, India's women's doubles pair of Diya Chitale and Sreeja Akula stormed into the semifinals of the WTT Contender with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Xin Ru Wong and Jian Zeng of Singapore in Zagreb on Friday. (More Sports News)

In a battle stretched to the fullest, Sreeja and Diya lost the first game, but fought back to win the next two to snatch a 2-1 lead.

The Singaporean duo, however, levelled it all before the Sreeja and Diya showed fine composure to seal it 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8 in a battle lasting little over 39 minutes. The Indian duo will take on Suthasini Sawettabut and Orawan Paranang of Thailand in the battle for the women's doubles summit clash.

Earlier on Thursday, India's top-ranked woman paddler Manika Batra advanced to pre-quarterfinals beating Croatia's Hana Arapovic 3-1.

Batra, world No. 38, came back strongly after losing the opening game, as she convincingly won the next three to seal the issue 6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-1 in 28 minutes.

However, the other Indian woman in the singles fray, Sutirtha Mukherjee was blanked 0-3 by South Korea's Yang Ha Eun. Ha Eun won 11-5, 11-5, 11-6.

The day belonged to young Indian pair of Sreeja and Diya, who entered the last-eight stage beating American pair of Chinese origin Lily Zhang and Rachel Sung in a hard-fought game affair. The Indian pair won 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 in just under 30 minutes.

The other Indian pair of Sutirtha Mukehrjee and Ayhika Mukherjee, who did well in the previous WTT event in Tunisia, were beaten 1-3 by the local pair of Ivana Malobabic and Mateja Jeger. The Croat pair won 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9.

In the men's doubles, veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal and in-form Harmeet Desai were lost 0-3 to Chinese pair of Lin Gaoyuan and Liang Jingkun after putting up a syiff fight in the first game. The Indians lost 11-13, 5-11, 4-11.     

In the mixed doubles, Batra, who teamed up with G Sathiyan, lost a gruelling five-game pre quarter-final contest to Lee Zion and Cho Seungmin of South Korea.

The Koreans won 11-9, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 13-11 in a match that went on for nearly 50 minutes.

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