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India paddlers Diya, Swastika confirm doubles medal at WTT Youth Star Contender


New Delhi, May 30: 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-8 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. On the other hand, the Mumbai paddlers 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-Hindi Siddiki (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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