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Good Sports: Manika Batra Upsets World No. 2 in Table Tennis

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
July 2024
Good Sports: Manika Batra Upsets World No. 2 in Table Tennis

India’s Manika Batra pulled off two upsets to reach the quarterfinals of the recent Saudi Smash in Jeddah. The Saudi Smash, along with the Singapore Smash and China Smash, were created by World Table Tennis to be the top tournaments on the table tennis tour, similar to the grand slams in tennis.

Ranked No. 39 in the world, Batra beat world No. 2 and former world champion Wang Manyu of China in the round of 32 and world No. 14 Nina Mittelham of Germany in the round of 16.

It’s a rare feat for an Indian player to upset a top Chinese player in a major table tennis tournament. “Everyone fears Chinese players,” Batra told Hindustan Times. “We’ve been working really hard to change our mindset. Against Wang I was just telling myself to focus on my strengths and stay mentally strong between points. I was pretty much fighting for every point. If it’s possible, I gave more than my 100 percent.”

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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]

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