It was a mixed day for India at the Volkswagen World Junior Table Tennis Championships here Wednesday with Harmeet Desai and Mallika Bhandarkar entering the pre-quarterfinals in the mixed doubles while the pair of Soumyajit Ghosh and Manika Batra bowing out in the second round.
After accounting for the Puerto Rican pair in the first round, Desai and Bhandarkar defeated the English-Germany duo of Gavin Evas and Nina Mittelham 11-6,4-11,11-3,4-11,11-6 in a hard-fought battle that lasted more than an hour. The Indian pair now has a tough task in round of 16 where it will take on the Chinese duo of Hongyuan Song and Meng Chen.
Chief coach Bhawani Mukherjee exuded confidence in Desai and Bhandarkar saying that they can unsettle any opponent with their different style of play.
‘It is not that she can’t attack but she prefers to slow down the game which may not suit the Chinese whereas Harmeet plays an attacking game,’ he said.
Earlier, Ghosh and Batra beat James Pintea of Canada and Ellen Hwang of the US in straight games of 11-2, 11-8, 11-5 but lost to Chung Hei Chiu and Ching Wan Li 5-11, 7-11, 11-3, 13-15 in the subsequent round.
In the boys qualifiers, G. Sathyan beat Stephan Shaposhnikov of Russia 12-10, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 to move into the second round.