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Sutirtha-Aihika make history by making it to the women’s double semifinals

<p>Sutirtha Mukherjee and Aihika Mukherjee stunned Chen Meng and Yidi Wang, the reigning world champion Chinese women’s doubles team, to advance to the women’s doubles semifinals, guaranteeing India a historic medal in table tennis at the Asian Games on Saturday.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-213139″ src=”×346.jpg” alt=” sutirtha aihika make history by making it to the womens double semifinals sutirtha” width=”1396″ height=”644″ srcset=”×346.jpg 750w,×354.jpg 768w,×69.jpg 150w, 1023w” sizes=”(max-width: 1396px) 100vw, 1396px” title=”Sutirtha-Aihika make history by making it to the women's double semifinals 3″></p>
<p>Sutirtha and Aihika defeated the Chinese combination, ranked second in the world, in the quarterfinals, winning 11-5, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9. India had never won a medal in the women’s doubles competition at the Asian Games.</p>
<p>The Indian players never let their more experienced rivals get comfortable straight away.</p>
<p>The Indians won the first game in under 8 minutes, contrary to the Chinese duo’s predictions that they would dominate their opponents.</p>
<p>The pattern continued in the second game, which the Indians won in 9 minutes because to the Chinese players’ many unforced mistakes, especially on the forehand.</p>
<p>The third game was won by the home team after a short comeback.</p>
<p>However, the Indians soon came together to take control of the fourth game.</p>
<p>Meng smashed her forehand into the net for the spectacular winning shot.</p>
<p>Earlier in the women’s singles table tennis tournament, gold medalist Manika Batra of the Commonwealth Games played poorly and was eliminated early.</p>
<p>Manika lost against China’s world No. 4 Yidi Wang 8-11, 12-10, 6-11, 4-11, 14-12, and 5-11, ending India’s participation in the singles competition at the Hangzhou Games.</p>
<p>The talented Indian paddler dropped the first game 8-11 because she had a glaring backhand weakness.</p>
<p>Even though she won the second and fifth games, the Chinese player made more unforced mistakes as a result of her haste to win the point.</p>
<p>In the sixth game, when the Chinese were up 11-10, they sprayed an easy forehand, which gave Manika the opportunity to come back.</p>
<p>However, Wang recovered her composure in the sixth game and pounded Manika’s backhand with hard strokes to which the latter was unable to adequately respond.</p>
<p>Manika made a few strong forehand attempts to battle back, but Wang’s incredible retrieving skills baffled the Indian.</p>
<p>It was Manika’s backhand fault, appropriately, that ended the match.</p>
<p>Manika stumbled in response to Wang’s laser-guided forehand, and her backhand reply soared way beyond the table.</p>
<p>Manush Shah and Manav Thakkar, the men’s doubles team from India, had previously lost in the quarterfinals.</p>
<p>In the round of eight, they lost to the South Korean team of Woojin Jang and Jonghoon Lim 8-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, and 9-11.</p>
<p>In the fifth game, which ended in a tie at 9, the Indians were up 6-2 but missed opportunities to lose to the Koreans.</p>
<p>We had a great fight. In the last set, we tied the score at 9-9. We came so close to winning, but we must learn from this setback and go on, added Manush.</p>
<p>Manush said that the World No. 1 Korean duo were “probably the toughest opponents” when asked about the experience. We had a few plans and actions in mind, which we put into action. But ultimately, we fell short.</p>
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