Indian men and women are just one win away from securing their maiden qualification for Olympics, following their contrasting victories against Luxembourg and Sweden respectively in the Team Qualifier here on Wednesday.
India’s men’s highest-ranked player G Sathiyan took some time adjusting to Luka Mladenovic but other than that it was a straight forward tie for the fifth seed who play 11th-seeded Slovenia in the round of 16 clash here on Friday.
A quarterfinal finish guarantees qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. India has never qualified as a team in Olympic history. Achanta Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai got India off to a winning start, beating Gilles Michely and Eric Glod 11-9, 16-14, 116 in the opening doubles. Sathiyan then defeated Mladenovic 8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-6. Veteran Sharathwon 11-3, 11-3, 12-14, 11-5 to complete a 3-0 victory.
Like the men, the Indian women edged 11th seeds Sweden 3-2 after Archana Kamath saved a match point to beat Linda Bergstrom in the fifth and deciding rubber. She won 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11.
The Indians will face Romania in the pre-quarterfinals on Friday.