Tokyo Olympian Sutirtha Mukherjee moved to the second stage of qualifiers at the ongoing WTT Star Contender Goa 2023 in Panji on Monday, following a win over world number 233 Prapti Sen.
Sutirtha, ranked at number 146, defeated Sen 3-0 (11-3, 11-6, 11-7) at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium to move to the next round and will take on world number 90 Li Yu-Jhun of Chinese Taipei on Thursday.
In the singles category, a total of three qualifying rounds will be played, while two such rounds will be played in doubles competition, as per Olympics.com.
Indian table tennis players Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty also advanced to the second round of the men's singles qualifiers.
Harmeet Desai, ranked at number 141 in the world rankings, overcame a tough challenge from Englishman Tom Jarvis, a paddler ranked at 121st position. Harmeet Desai lost the first game but was able to make a comeback to win the match 3-2 (9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-13, 12-10).
Sanil Shetty, who is at world No. 210 ranking, eased his way through the round one match against compatriot Yashansh Malik. Sanil defeated Malik 3-0 (11-3,11-3,11-8).
Manush Shah/Snehit Suravajulla and Jeet Chandra/Ronit Bhanja advanced to the main draw of men's doubles competition while Suhana Saini/Yashaswini Ghorpade and Poymantee Baisya/Anannya Basak made it to the pre-quarter stage in women's doubles competition.
Manush Shah/Snehit Suravajulla overcame compatriots Jeet Chandra and Ronit Bhanja 3-0 (11-5,11-5,11-6) in round two to advance to the main draw. Jeet Chandra/Ronit Bhanja, however, made it to the men's doubles pre-quarters on the basis of superior doubles rankings than the other losing pairs.
In women's doubles, Suhana Saini/Yashaswini Ghorpade locked horns with the experienced Korean pair of Kim Hayeong/Lee Eunhye. In a hard-fought clash, the Indian youngsters won 3-2 (9-11,15-13,11-7,9-11,11-5), earning qualification to the main draw.
They will be joined by pair of Poymantee Baisya/Anannya Basak. The Indians got a walkover against the Portuguese pair of Jeini Shao/Fu Yu to seal their spot. In round one, they had defeated the Indian pairing of Reeth Tennison and Swastika Ghosh.
In mixed doubles competition, no Indian pair could progress to the next stage of the qualifiers.
Snehit Suravajulla/Diya Chitale went down to the German pair of Patrick Franziska and Shan Xiaona 1-3 (5-11, 5-11, 13-11, 8-11). Ronit Bhanja/Sutirtha Mukherjee on the other hand, lost to Mizuki Oikawa/Miyu Nagasaki from Japan 0-3 (8-11, 8-11, 8-11).
The duo of Manush Shah/Sreeja Akula went down to South Korea's Cho Daeseong/Nayeong Kim 2-3 (11-3, 11-7, 5-11, 5-11, 9-11) in the second qualifying round.
Before this, Manush and Akula had downed compatriots Vidit Desai and Prithoki Chakraborti 3-0 (11-1, 11-2, 11-5) in their first match.
India's pairing of Yashaswini Ghorpade/Payas Jain was defeated by South Korea's Ganghyeon Park and Hyobin Yoon 3-1 (9-11, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11) in round two.
The first session of the qualifiers also saw some great performances by a couple of young Indian players. Ronit Bhanja, went down to 35-year-old towering Czech journeyman Lubomir Jancarik, ranked 114 in the world, 2-3 (11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-2, 10-12).
The second was by Anirban Ghosh, who lost to another veteran, Romain Ruiz of France. Romain downed Anirban 3-2 (11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8) in round one of the qualifiers.
A total of 200 players from 30 countries are taking part in the WTT Star Contender Goa 2023, which will go on from February 27 to March 5. (ANI)