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WTT Star Contender: Manika, Sathiyan in 2nd round
Doha, March 8 - India's Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran on Monday went through to the second round of the WTT Star Contender table tennis tournament in Doha.
Manika, ranked 63 in women's singles, beat Chinese Taipei's Hsien-Tzy Cheng 3-0. Manika held her own to beat her opponent in straight sets 11-5, 11-9, 11-9. The 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist will face Japanese world No. 3 Mima Ito in her round of 16 match on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, world No. 37 Gnanasekaran had a more tricky encounter against France's 40th ranked Emmanuel Lebesson, winning the match 3-2. Gnanasekaran lost the first two games but then came back to take the match 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4. He will face Japanese world No. 5 Harimoto Tomokazu in the round of 16 on Tuesday.
Later, four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Achanta Sharath Kamal faces Puerto Rico's Brian Afanador in his first round match. Kamal and Manika had earlier fallen short of qualification to the Doha event in the mixed doubles category, losing their second-round qualifier against Mexico's Marcos Madrid and Yadira Silva.
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