India's top-ranked women's table tennis player Manika Batra produced a stunning performance to register a victory over World No. 7 Chen Xingtong of China in the first round of the ongoing Asian Cup 2022 tournament in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday.
Competing at the Huamark Indoor Stadium, World No. 44 Batra defeated the fourth-seeded table tennis player 4-3 (8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9).
Batra gained an 8-3 lead and appeared to be on track after the match went into a decider. Chen used her expertise to tie the game at 9-9, but two consecutive mistakes from her handed Manika Batra one of the biggest victories of her career.
Manika Batra will now lock horns with World No. 23 Chen Szu-Yu of Chinese Taipei in the second round on Friday.
On the other hand, in the men's singles, both the Indian challengers - Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, world No. 39, and India's national champion Sharath Kamal, ranked 44th - were knocked out after losing in the first round.
Sathiyan fought back against World No. 26 Yukiya Uda of Japan and leveled the match at 3-3 after being 2-0 down. However, he eventually bit the dust in the final game and lost the match 4-3 (11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 9-11,11-6, 10-12, 11-6).
Later in the day, 2022 Commonwealth Games champion Sharath Kamal clinched the first game against World No. 16 Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei but went down in the next four to lose 4-1 (11-7, 4-11, 7-11, 4-11, 6-11).
The three-day table tennis competition, which includes men's and women's singles events, will conclude on November 19. (ANI)