India’s table tennis star Manika Batra on Sunday upset world number 32 Margaryta Pesotska to reach the women’s singles third round at the Tokyo Olympics here. The world number 62 from India made a remarkable comeback against her Ukrainian opponent after losing the first two games to prevail 4-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 in a second-round match that lasted 57 minutes.
Margaryta, ranked 32 in the world rankings, raced to an early lead as Manika managed to collect just eight points in the first two games. The Indian then stitched longer rallies in the third game, which seemed to work wonders for her. She won the third game 11-7 and followed it up by clinching a nail-biter in the fourth.
Margaryta took the lead by winning the fifth game 11-8. But Manika struck back to win the sixth game, forcing the match into a decider. The 26-year-old was dominant but committed errors by losing two match points. In the end, she secured the match point to seal a hard-fought victory.
Manika will now face 10th seed Sofia Polcanova of Austria.
(With inputs from Agencies)