Sreeja Akula, Diya Parag Chitale, and Swastika Ghosh inched closer to the main draw by winning their respective women’s singles matches while Archana Kamath lost in the second qualifying round of the World Table Tennis Contender Novo Mesto event on Tuesday. Winning the third-round match in the qualifying stage will get a place in the main draw and thus India is guaranteed a qualifier into the tournament proper as two of its players — Sreeja and Diya — will face-off in the final qualifying round match on Wednesday. The main draw matches will start on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Sreeja got the better of Wong Xin Ru of Singapore 3-1 (15-17, 11-8, 11-7. 11-9) while Diya outclassed Valeria Shcherbatykh of Russia 3-0 (11-7,11-8- 14-12). In another second round match, Swastika overcame Filippa Bergand of Sweden 3-2 (12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9).
Three other Indians including Archana Kamath, who won the women’s doubles titles with Manika Batra in the previous WTT event at Lasko, lost in the second round of the qualifying. Archana was unlucky to lose a close encounter to Ivana Malobabic of Croatia 2-3 (11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-13), Krittwika Roy went down to Hungary’s Leonia Hartbrich 0-3 (9-11, 2-11, 7-11) while Selena Selvakumar lost to Sabina Winter of Germany 0-3 (5-11, 7-11, 4-11).
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles qualifiers, Snehit Suravajjula, Sushmit Sriram, and Jeet Chandra reached the second round while Soumyajit Ghosh, Manav Thakkar, and Anthony Amalraj crashed out in the first round.
Snehit Suravajjula defeated compatriot Manav Thakkar 3-1 (11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 13-11), Sushmit defeated Miha Podobnik of Slovenia 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-9) while Jeet Chandra overcame Padasak Tanviriyavech of Thailand 3-2 (9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9).
National champion Soumyajit lost 0-3 (10-12, 9-11,8-11) to Steffen Mengel of Germany while Amalraj went down to Xavier Dixon of Australia 2-3 (11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11) in a closely fought encounter.