Manika Batra inspired India to a historic gold medal with her stunning singles victories, fashioning an unthinkable 3-1 victory over four-time gold medalists Singapore in the final of the women’s team event at the Commonwealth Games, in Gold Coast, on Sunday. Batra first scored the biggest of her career by humbling world number four and multiple Olympic medallist Feng Tianwei 3-2 before brushing aside 100th-ranked Yihan Zhou 3-0 to engineer a sensational win over the mighty Singapore side.
Batra was the architect of India’s historic win, the experienced pairing of Madhurika Patkar and Mouma Das played the supporting role to perfection by winning the crucial doubles tie 3-1 (11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7) against Zhou and Mengyu Yu for a 2-1 lead in the final.
After Batra shocked Feng 3-2 (11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7) in the opening singles, Mengyu had equalized for Singapore with a straight game win over Patkar.
Batra then proved to be too good for Yihan, who failed to read her deceptive strokes. The Singaporean put a back hand long as the Indian completed a 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-7), leading to wild celebrations.