India’s top ranked singles player Manika Batra and Harmeet Desai will lead the country’s challenge at the second edition of the WTT Star Contender Goa, which is slated to be held at the Peddem Indoor Stadium from January 23 to 28.

The WTT Star Contender is a part of the WTT Contender Series events and is the biggest international table tennis event hosted by India with a prize pool of USD 250,000 as well as 600 world ranking points for the winners. India hosted the WTT Star Contender in Goa for the first time last year.

Batra, who is ranked 35th in the world, and Desai with a world rank of 75 have earned a directly entry into the singles main draw alongside women’s singles world No. 89 Sreeja Akula.

Besides, four Indian doubles pairs have also secured direct entries in their respective categories. Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran will compete in the mixed doubles while Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee have made the cut for the women’s doubles main draw.

The pair of Gnanasekaran and Sharath Kamal, Manush Shah and Manav Thakkar, on the other hand, will feature in the men’s doubles main draw.

Brazilian Hugo Calderano, men’s singles world No. 5, is expected to be the biggest attraction of the event later this month. The former Youth Olympics bronze medallist will be among the 17 top-20 ranked players from the world in action at Goa.

The 17-year-old rising French star Felix Lebrun, former world No. 1 and two-time Olympics bronze medallist Dimitrij Ovtcharov, African legend Quadri Aruna, 2021 World Championships silver medallist Truls Moregard of Sweden and South Korea’s Jang Woojin are among the other key attractions in men’s singles main draw.

The women’s singles main draw, on the other hand, will feature world No. 9 from South Korea Shin Yubin, Xiaoxin Yang, Joo Cheonhui and the last edition’s runner-up Cheng I-Ching among others.

The 48-player singles main draw will consist of 34 direct entries, four wildcards, two Top-20 nominations by WTT and eight qualifiers.

The doubles main draw will feature 16 pairs with 10 direct entries, two wildcards and four from the qualifiers.