Qualifier Sreeja Akula’s dream run continued as she reached the women’s singles quarterfinals with a 3-0 drubbing of Barbora Balazova of Slovakia in the round of 16 in the World Table Tennis Contender Budapest here on Wednesday .
The 23-year-old Sreeja used her soft-pimpled rubber to good effect against the Slovakian. The 29-year-old Balazova was clearly uncomfortable against the rubber, making quite a few mistakes at critical junctures.
However, G. Sathiyan, the fourth seed, faltered. The Indian bowed out of the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals, losing 1-3 to Niagol Stoyanov of Italy.
Stoyanov overpowered the Indian with a sustained attack on both flanks. Though Sathiyan had two game points and saved six match points in the fourth game, the Italian proved to be too good on all fronts.
Earlier, the mixed doubles pair of Sathiyan and Manika Batra entered the semifinals with a 3-2 win over the Slovakian duo of Libomir Pistej and Balazova.
Men (round of 16): G. Sathiyan lost to Niagol Stoyanov (Ita) 10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 19-17; Harmeet Desai lost to Dang Qiu (Ger) 5-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-4; Manav Thakkar lost to Kirill Skachkov (Rus) 10-12, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9.
Women (round of 16): Sreeja Akula bt Barbora Balazova (Svk) 11-9, 11-6, 13-11.
Mixed doubles (quarterfinals): G. Sathiyan & Manika Batra bt Libomir Pistej & Barbora Balazova (Svk) 11-4, 3-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9.
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