By Neha Aggarwal
There is one Indian who made it to the quarter-finals in the past, but it was not a purely Indian partnership. Prisca Rosario of India made it to the quarter finals of the 1956 World Championship in Tokyo partnering USA’s Robinson. Additionally, Krishna Nagaraj reached the quarterfinal in men’s singles in the same championships.
No men’s doubles pair has ever made it to the quarter finals stage.
Mouma Das and Manika Batra thus created history today in Düsseldorf, becoming the first fully-Indian partnership to make it to that level at the World Championships.
Reacting to the situation, Mouma Das, competing in her 16th World Championships, seemed sympathetic. “I don’t know what to even feel. It’s just sad that our opponents could not play the match. But at the same time, I am so elated that we have created history for our country.”
The 33 year-old continued, “We were well prepared for the match anyway. We practiced against defenders to get the feel. I am actually still shocked that we got a walkover. But we have created history, it is special.”
The Indians will now compete against 2015 World Championships silver medalists Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen.
“Playing against China at the World Championships in the main hall is so so special, it has not sunken in yet. We are ready to face them, and we believe that if we play good, we have chance to bear them.” – Mouma Das
21 year-old Manika Batra, who represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was delighted.
“I was really shocked to know about the walkover, but at the same time, I just can’t believe we made it to the quarter finals. I am going to give it my best shot. We are very close to winning a medal now.”- Manika Batra
On the other side, Lily Zhang and Yu Wue have kept USA’s dream run going at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships going with a 4-1 win over Zhang Mo (CAN) and Sofia Polcanova (AUT).
The pair had a hard time closing out the match, needing seven match points in the final game to secure the win. And while Yu Wue says she wasn’t nervous at all, Lily Zhang wasn’t feeling quite as calm.
“Our coach called a timeout at 10-9, but then I came out and missed the serve. I was getting so nervous!” – Lily Zhang
With the number one seeds knocked out in the first round, Singapore’s Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu now occupy that place in the draw after defeating Alex Galic (SLO) and Rache Moret (SUI) 4-1 (7-11,10-12,11-7,7-11,5-11).