Ahmedabad, Sep 16: The Indian challenge at the 30th Asian Cup table tennis tourment came to an end when Manika Batra lost to Miu Hirano of Japan in the quarter-fil play-offs of the womens singles category here on Saturday.
Manika produced a spirited fight before losing 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 6-11 to her World No.6 opponent. She could not sustain the pace and guile of the second seeded Japanese and went down in 20 minutes flat.
Indian coach Massimo Costantini seemed satisfied with the progress of Manika.“We knew the result, but I must say I am impressed with the way she fought against Hirano,” he said.
In the second quarter-fil play-off, Su Hyowon of South Korea accounted for Lee Ho Ching of Hong Kong to enter the main draw.
Meanwhile, top-seeded Liu Shiwen and third seed Zhu Yuling ensured that the women singles crown will remain with the Chinese when they entered the fil.
On their way to the fil, Liu struggled against Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan before winning 15-13, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-6.
Zhu on the other hand, packed off Hirano in straight games to win 13-11, 11-8, 11-2, 12-10.
Unlike Miu, who had to play three matches on the day, including the playoff challenge round first up, Kausmi had a lot of steam left in her to challenge the supremacy of Liu.
In fact, it started off with the first game where Liu won on the third game point. The struggle continued from the third game but the seasoned Chinese put an end to the ordeal in the sixth to grab the fil slot.
Just before that Zhu ensured that her entry was not prolonged, knowing well the capabilities of the 17-year-old Japanese.
Though she won the first game on extended points, Zhu went 3-0 up very quickly. In the fourth, Miu looked like waging some battle but it was not good enough to keep her Chinese opponent at bay.
In the women singles quarter-fils, two matches stood out for tecity and quality. In the first, Hirano, who had to play her first match in the challenge round, was visibly tired against Taipei’s Chen Szu-Yu as the 11th seed played exceptiolly well to lead 3-2.
However, the 17-year-old Japanese turned it around by keeping her opponent engaged with long rallies and tiring her out. That was when she went all out and made clever use of flanks to beat the stuffing out of Chen and take the next two games.
Taipei’s Chen upped the ante in the fifth game to win it 13-11 and replicated it in the next to topple the fourth seed Japanese. Before that, Koki Niwa fought well to first level the score after Chen went 2-1 up. IANS