Indian table tennis has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years, and largely the credit goes to our doubles teams’ exploits on the international circuit, while the men’s and women’s singles paddlers have struggled to say the least. And their ITTF rankings say so too. In the men’s singles, Harmeet Desai is the best-placed Indian at WR-73, followed by Manav Thakkar at 84, G Sathiyan at 89, and Sharath Kamal at 104.
On the other hand, in women’s singles, Manika Batra is at WR-31 at the moment and is way ahead of the next-best Indian, Sreeja Akula at 81. Meanwhile, doubles seems to be the focus at the moment for the Indian table tennis team, and the mixed doubles pair of Manika Batra and G Sathiyan is ranked 10th in the world.
But there is a new kid on the block who has taken the world of table tennis by complete storm. Aditya Sareen, a 15-year-old Indo-Australian player is already competing in the senior circuit, and was recently ranked WR-37 in the world. Not only that, he is the world no. 1 in the U-15 category, which is a great achievement. Aditya’s achievements are plenty even before moving into the senior circuit full-time.
The teenager has an 80% win record and won the senior men’s singles championship at the Oceania Championships earlier this year. In the same tournament, he also won senior mixed doubles titles, men’s team titles, U-19 men’s singles, U-19 boys’ doubles, and U-15 team titles. This only raises one question, why can’t the Indians go on to achieve greater heights in singles table tennis. Or even, why aren’t there any Indians in the top 50 of the men’s singles rankings, and just one in women’s singles?
Manika Batra achieves career-best World No.31 in ITTF World rankings