Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee overwhelmed the Japanese pair of Miyuu Kihara and Miwa Harimoto 3-1 to win the WTT Contender Tunis Women’s Doubles title at the Sports Hall of Rades in Tunisia on Sunday. The pair thus became the first Indian table tennis players to clinch a WTT Contender title this year.
The Indian duo played an attacking game and won the first two games easily. The Japanese pair rallied back in the third game Sutritha and Ayhika kept their cool and won the fourth game to win the title 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 13-11. in the final. Harimoto won the women’s singles title at Tunis earlier in the day.
On the way to the title clash, Sutirtha and Ayhika turned out to be giant killers as they stunned top-seeds and world championships silver medallists Shin Yubin and Jeon Ji-hee of Korea in the semis.
Earlier, they accounted for bronze medallists from the 2022 world championships Chinese Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu and Huang Yi-Hua, after beating Amy Wang and Rachel Sung of the USA in the opening round.
In the mixed doubles event, the pair of Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran made the semi-finals before going down to Shin Yubin and Lim Jonghoon of Korea on Saturday.
The men’s doubles pair of Manav Vikash Thakkar and Manush Utpalbhai Shah also made the final four before going down to the Korean pair of Cho Daeseong and Cho Seungmin.
Commonwealth Games 2022 champion Sharath Kamal and compatriot Sathiyan Gnanasekaran were eliminated in the first round of singles. Harmeet Desai crashed out in the pre-quarterfinals.
In the women’s singles category, Manika Batra lost in the first round. Tokyo Olympian Ayhika Mukherjee was the only Indian women’s player to make the second round.
Results of other Indian players: Sanil Shetty,Manush Shah (failed to qualify)
Women’s singles: Diya Parag Chitale Sreeja Akula (lost in the first round), Reeth Tennison, Sutirtha Mukherjee (failed to qualify)
Men’s doubles: Harmeet Desai/Sharath Kamal (lost in the first round)
Women’s doubles: Diya Parag Chitale/Sreeja Akula – Out in the first round.