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WTT Contender: Selena, Swastika, Diya win first round of qualifiers

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Lasko (Slovenia), Nov 8 (IANS) India’s Selena Selvakumar, Swastika Ghosh, and Diya Parag Chitale advanced to the second round in the women’s singles qualifying draw with easy wins in the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Novo Mesto 2021 tournament here on Monday.

While Selena, Swastika, and Diya won their first-round matches, Archana Kamath, Krittwika Roy, and Sreeja Akula got byes in the first round and advanced to the penultimate round of the qualifying phase for this WTT Contender doubleheader in Slovenia. The main draw of the WTT Contender Novo Mesto will start on November 11. The Indian women had a great time in the first event in Slovenia, the WTT Contender Lasko with Manika Batra and Archana winning the women’s doubles title and Manika winning the bronze medal in women’s singles.

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In the first round of the women’s singles qualifying, Selena defeated Mercedes Nagyvaradi of Hungary 3-1. Selena won the close first game 11-9 but lost the second at 8-11. The 21-year-old Selena, ranked 266 in the world, regrouped and then won the next two games for a hard-fought 11-9,8-11, 11-9, 12-10 win and reach the second round.

In another first-round match, Diya defeated Aleksandra Vovk of Slovenia 3-0, registering a comprehensive victory against a player ranked higher than her. The 18-year-old Diya, ranked 324, defeated Aleksandra, ranked 292, in straight games, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7 to reach the second round where she will meet Valeria Scherbatykh of Russia in the second round.

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Swastika Ghosh too had it easy in the first round of qualifying as she defeated Tjasa Novak of Slovenia 3-0, getting the better of the local girl 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 to set up a clash with Filippa Bergand of Sweden, ranked 174th in the world.

Among the other Indians, Archana Kamath will play Ivana Malobabic of Croatia in the second round, Krittwika Roy will play Leonie Hartbrich of Hungary while Sreeja Akula will meet Singapore’s Xin Ru Wong in the second round on Tuesday. In all eight players will qualify for the main draw of the event.

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The men’s singles qualifying will start on Tuesday with Soumyajit Ghosh, Manav Thakkar, Snehit Suruvajjula, Sushmsit Sriram, Anthony Amalraj, and Jeet Chandra in the fray. India’s top three, Achanta Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, and Harmeet Desai have made it to the main draw in men’s singles.

–IANS

bsk

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