Batra continues her quest for glory at 2019 ITTF German Open

The Indian recorded an impressive win over Barbora Balazova of Slovakia to march into the Round of 32 at the OVB Arena.

By Naveen Peter ·

India’s Manika Batra continued her fine form at the 2019 ITTF German Open with a win over Barbora Balazova of Slovakia in Bremen.

In a match that saw the balance tilt often, Batra had to rally twice before sealing the match 10-12, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9.

The win means the Indian has moved into the main draw of the competition and will take on World No. 12 Feng Tianwei of Singapore in the round of 32.

Batra will also be seen in the Women’s Doubles competition alongside Archana Kamath when they take on China’s Meng Chen and Yuting Gu in the round of 16 on Thursday.

Batra digs deep

The top-ranked Indian in the women’s circuit, Batra, came into the tie on the back of a dominating win over Anelia Lupulesku of Serbia in the previous round. And that confidence was evident in the manner she began the match.

Using her powerful forehand drives to good effect, the Indian had Balazova engaging in defensive duties in the opening exchanges.

While the Slovak seemed relaxed in that role, a few unforced errors from Batra and some smart shot selections from the World No. 43 meant Balazova stayed in the game with points coming at regular intervals and then capitalised on her opportunities to take the game 12-10.

India’s Manika Batra showed her class to get past Barbora Balazova of Slovakia at the 2019 ITTF German Open.

That, however, did not disturb Batra’s rhythm as she roared back to take the second game 11-7.

While it looked like the Indian would go on and stamp her authority on the match, Balazova seemed to have other plans as she pegged Batra back once again, taking the third 11-5.

But the Indian table tennis sensation once again showed her class as she didn’t let her opponent get to her and kept her guessing with some quick returns to take the following three games 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 and seal her place in the Round of 32.

Desai shows fight

Meanwhile, the Indian challenge in the men’s circuit came to a premature end after Harmeet Desai bowed out after his loss to Denmark’s Jonathan Groth in the fourth round of the singles competition.

In what was an entertaining tie, Groth proved his mettle by holding his composure to record a 6-11, 12-14, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 win to seal his place in the Round of 32.