India’s challenge in doubles ends as the Mukherjee sisters fumbles in R16 at Saudi Smash 2024

Saudi Smash

The Saudi Smash 2024, a prestigious table tennis tournament held at the Sports Hall King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, saw the end of the Indian challenge in the doubles category. The tournament, which took place from May 1 to May 11, witnessed participation from top paddlers worldwide.

Mukherjee sisters exit Saudi Smash 2024

The Indian duo of Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee, who are Asian Games bronze medalists, faced off against Kim Nayeong of South Korea and Miyu Nagasaki of Japan in the round of 16. The match, which lasted 43 minutes, ended with Ayhika and Sutirtha losing 3-2 (6-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-6, 11-8) to the Nagasaki-Nayeong pair.

In the men’s doubles competition, the Indian pair of Manush Shah and Manav Thakkar lost a thrilling five-set match to Chan Baldwin of Hong Kong and Lubomir Pistej of Slovakia. After winning the first game 20-18, Shah and Thakkar lost the next two. They fought back to win the fourth set 11-9, taking the match to the final game. However, their opponents clinched the deciding set 7-11 to win the match.

In the mixed doubles quarterfinals, the Indian duo of Harmeet Desai and Yashaswini Ghorpade faced the top-seeded Chinese team of Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha. Despite putting up an impressive fight, the Chinese pair proved too strong for Desai and Ghorpade, winning the match in straight sets with a final scoreline of 6-11, 10-12, 4-11.

Despite these losses, the Indian paddlers had some notable performances in the tournament. Harmeet and Yashaswini started their campaign with a 3-2 victory over Nicolas Burgos and Paulina Vega of Chile. They then shocked the fifth-seeded Spanish pair of Alvaro Robles and Maria Xiao with a 3-2 victory in the round of 16.

With the end of the doubles challenge, the only remaining competitor from India in the tournament is women’s singles star Manika Batra. Batra, who stunned World No. 2 Wang Manyu in her round of 32 match, will take on Germany’s Nina Mittelham on May 8.

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