Young Indian paddlers Diya Chitale and Swastika Ghosh put up solid performances at the 2021 WTT Youth Star Contender in Tunisia as they confirmed a medal in the U-19 girls doubles besides advancing to the knockout stage of the singles category.
The Maharashtra duo of Diya and Swastika, who received a bye in the opening round, registered convincing 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 victory against the local favourite Fadwa Garci and Maram Zoghlami in the last-eight match in Tunis, and secured at least a bronze medal with an entry into the semi-finals.
The Indian pair will take on Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova and Croatia’s Hana Arapovic in the last-four match.
Diya and Swastika also progressed into the U-19 singles last-16 stage after topping their respective groups with an all-win record.
The youth national champion, Diya, was dominant during her identical 3-0 victories against Belarusian Darya Vasilenka (11-7, 11-7, 11-7), Linda Zaderova (11-4, 10-12, 11-1, 11-8) and Algeria’s Narimene-Hind Siddeki (11-3, 11-4, 11-7) in Group VI.
Junior national champion Swastika defeated Greece’’s Malamatenia Papadimitriou and Portuguese Ines Matos 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-9) and 3-2 (8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7) respectively in the Group I matches.
The ongoing tournament is the first international youth event Indian players are participating in since the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier in the boys’’ event, Preyesh Raj Suresh bowed out in the U-15 singles quarter-finals while Payas Jain and Deepit Patil exited in the pre-quarters and group stage of U-19 category, respectively.
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