By Neha Aggarwal
Madhurika Patkar climbs high
Out of the many female players on duty at the world stage from India, if there is one woman who works harder than anyone else, its Madhurika Patkar. On Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, Madhurika’s work proved results as she beat a higher ranked Marie Migot of France in the qualification group stage. Ranked no.219 in April 2017, Madhurika beat Migot, ranked no.165 in April 2017 in a nail biting six games encounter (11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7). A day earlier she beat Slovenia’s Katarina Strazar in four straight games.
Thus Madhurika secured the top spot in group 24 and moved to the main draw. In the round of 64, she will compete against Mirela Durak of Croatia, who stands at no.254 in May 2017. If consider ranking, Madhurika might have a better chance as she moved up the ladder to no.190 in May 2017.
India’s national champion for 2016, 30-year old Madhurika hails from the western state of Maharashtra. She uses the short pimples out rubber on her backhand side and inverted pimples rubber on her forehand. With a strong backhand attack and close to the table counter attacks as a base, Madhurika has found her asset in her serves and consistency in the last three years.
An integral member of the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games 2014, Madhurika gave China a scare six years back when she extended Liu Shiwen, the then world no.1, to six games in the women’s singles first round at 2010 Qatar Open.
Memories of that successful match is still alive in her heart as she continues her quest to reach the next level at the international arena. She is currently one of the core probables to be selected for the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast in 2018. Aiming to go higher up the ranking ladder, Madhurika would certainly put in her best at the Zagreb Open and the upcoming Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf.
No stopping Krittwika Roy
Ranked no.256 in April 2017, India’s Krittwika Roy too troubled the French as she out staged Laura Gasnier, ranked no.140 in April this year, in six games (11-3, 15-17, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6). On the first day of qualifications Krittwika had beaten Daniela Ortega (CHI) in four straight games. Krittwika victoriously moved to the next stage, the knock out round of 64, where she will play against Thailand’s Tamolwan Khetkhuan, ranked no.122 in May 2017.
A player who is incredibly calm and patient on the table, Krittwika will have a daunting task against Khetkhuan if you consider the world ranking into account. Game wise, although Krittwika is a slow starter, she is also a great fighter. She uses the inverted pimples out rubber on both side. She finds success in her angular placement of the balls which gives the opponent a run for her life. Despite that, she will have to pull up her socks and put her “A” game forward to beat the Thai in their round of 64 match.
Krittwika is currently ranked seventh in India and is the eight highest ranked Indian woman at the international stage.
Winner of the 2014 Fajr Cup held in Tehran, Iran, 23-year old Krittwika was the silver medalist at the 2013 Indian national championships and since then, has been trying her best to become an important member of the Indian national team. She is employed by the Reserve Bank of India and hails from the India’s Eastern state of Bengal.
A successful sojourn at the qualification stages for these two ladies would have definitely brought smiles on national coach Massimo Costantini’s face. Manika Batra will also step up on the court as she will compete against Mariia Tailakova (RUS).
Watch out the Indians in action on 4th May from 12:10 pm local time onwards.