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TTFI News 24th-Jun-2024
Sreeja's double adds to India's 3 gold tally at Lagos

New Delhi, June 23: Sreeja Akula became the first Indian woman to create history at the WTT Contender at Lagos when she claimed the singles and doubles titles at a Contender level.


The Hyderabadi beat th
e 16-year-old Chinese opponent, Ding Yijie, who is outside the top 500, 4-1 (10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6). Sreeja did it in style with domination after fighting back from a game down for the singles crown.

Earlier in the day, Sreeja combined with Archana Kamath, her Paris Olympics teammate, to blank out compatriots Diya Chitale and Yashaswini Ghorpade 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 12-10) in the doubles final. Diya and Yashaswini had to contend with the silver medals.


The bronze went the way of the Mukherjee duo, Ayhika and Sutirtha, who lost in the semifinals.


Incidentally, it was also the first time that the title in the men's doubles went the way of India as Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar beat local favourites Azeez Solanke and Olajide Omotayo 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-8). The Surat duo kept a tight leash on their Nigerian rivals despite the latter stretching every sinew of the Indian pair.


In the mixed doubles, the pairs of Manush Shah/Diya Chitale and Manav Thakkar and Archana exited at the semi-final stages to share the bronze medals.


The singles triumph at Lagos could see Sreeja jumping several places from her current No 43 position to a career-high world ranking brackets of No. 25-28, becoming the highest-ranked Indian. It would be the second time the Hyderabad woman had upstaged Manika Batra, the top Indian female paddler for the last few years.