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Indian duo books place in Budapest final

Friday 20 August

Commencing play the no.5 seeds, India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra maintained their good form to reserve their place in the mixed doubles final at the WTT Contender Budapest 2021 tournament, following success on Thursday 19th August.

Having the previous day ousted Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej and Barbora Balazova, the top seeds (11-4, 3-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9), they continued to upset the order of merit by overcoming Aleksandr Khanin and Daria Trigolos of Belarus, the no.4 seeds (11-6, 11-5, 11-4).

In the final they meet Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Dora Madarasz, the no.8 seeds; in the penultimate round, they ousted Russia’s Kirill Skachkov and Olga Vorobeva, the no.8 seeds (11-5, 11-9, 11-8).

A place in the mixed doubles final, alas in the women’s singles Manika Batra fell just one step short. The no.6 seed, following a quarter-final success against colleague Sreeja Akula (7-11, 11-1, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6), she was beaten by Russia’s Elizabeta Abraamian (12-10, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8), like Sreeja Akula a player required to qualify.

Elizabeta Abraamian now meets Monaco’s Yang Xiaoxin, the top seed, in the final; in the penultimate round she overcame Russia’s Maria Tailakova, the no.20 seed (11-2, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Farewell at the semi-final stage, it was the same for Indian colleagues Harmeet Desai and Manav Vikash Thakkar; the no.3 seeds, they were beaten by Russia’s Kirill Skachkov and Vladimir Sidorenko, the no.2 seeds (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6).

Kirill Skachkov and Vladimir Sidorenko now face Germany’s Tobias Hippler and Kilian Ort, the no.9 seeds, in the final; they booked their gold medal berth courtesy of success in opposition to the host nation’s Nandor Ecseki and Adam Szudi, the top seeds (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 12-10).

Meanwhile, in the men’s singles event, Germany’s Kilian Ort meets Sweden’s Truls Moregard to decide the title. Required to qualify, at the semi-final stage Kilian Ort beat the Czech Republic’s Tomas Polansky, the no.20 seed (5-11, 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 15-13); in a similarly tension packed duel Truls Moregard, the no.14 seed, ended the progress of Qiu Dang, the no.6 seed and like Kilian Ort from Germany (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 10-12, 11-7).

Upsets but not in the women’s doubles, at the final hurdle, Russia’s Olga Vorobeva and Yana Noskova, the top seeds, meet Hungary’s Dora Madarasz and Szandra Pergel, the no.2 seeds.

At the semi-final stage, Olga Vorobeva and Yana Noskova had beaten Sweden’s Linda Bergström and Christina Källberg, the no.6 seeds (11-9, 11-4, 11-8); Dora Madarasz and Szandra Pergel had ousted Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova and Ema Labosova, the no.4 seeds (11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9).

Play in Budapest concludes on Friday 20th August.

Editor: Ian Marshall

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