Manika Batra, who won four medals including a gold in women’s singles at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, ended her campaign at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games without a medal as she and her partner crashed out in the quarterfinals of the women’s doubles.
Manika had already lost in women’s singles and mixed doubles, G. was partnering with Sathian and the women’s doubles was her only hope in this edition of the Commonwealth Games.
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Manika and Diya Chitale started the day by defeating Dumehani Hosseinli and Jalim Nandeshwar of Mauritius 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-3) in the round of 16.
However, their joy was short-lived as they lost 1-3 to Kerry Charlotte and Anna Hersey of Wales in the evening session. Manika and Diya lost 7-11, 8-11, 13-11, 10-12.
Manika was the star performer for India at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, winning four medals including two golds. A repeat of her performance was expected at Birmingham as well.
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But the 27-year-old disappointed and lost in the quarterfinals in both the singles and mixed doubles events.
Under Manika’s leadership, the Indian women’s team defeated hitherto unbeaten Singapore in the final at Gold Coast in 2018. Manika defeated world number 4 Feng Tianwei as well as Zhou Yihan in India’s 3-1 win in the final.
She then became the first Indian woman to win an individual gold medal by defeating Singapore’s Yu Mengyu in the final at CWG 2018 and won India’s first silver medal in women’s doubles.
But 2022 turned out to be a somber one for Manika as the women’s team was shocked by lowly Malaysia and she and G. Sathian, who is ranked sixth in the world in mixed doubles, was stunned by Jaywen Chung and Karen Lee 2-3 (10-12, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 7-11), thus ending their campaign.
In women’s singles, Manika lost to Jian Zheng of Singapore in the quarterfinals of women’s singles. The match was a one-sided 4-0 (10-12, 11-9, 11-4,
So, what’s wrong with Manika Batra?
Nothing looks wrong on paper, her game is as strong as ever and at this point, you don’t forget your lashes. Manika seems to be suffering from some mental block, as if she wants to hold something back. Her body language seems poor and she seems to be suffering in silence.
The first indication that things were not going as well as she had hoped was her 11-8, 11-3, 11-9 loss to Malaysia’s Karen Lain in the team event.
The fact that she played six matches on Friday proves that there are no fitness issues.
So, it is now up to Manika and her support staff to sort this out as soon as possible otherwise it could spoil her performance on the WTT circuit.
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