In spite of playing way below her best, top seed P. V. Sindhu managed to settle a score with Thailand’s all-attacking Supanida Katethong in three games to reach the semifinals but H. S. Prannoy, the lone surviving seed in the men’s draw, was not so lucky
in the $150,000 Syed Modi India International badminton on Friday.
In what was seen as the final before the final after Supanida’s stunning victory over Sindhu in the India Open semifinals last week in Delhi, the Indian lived dangerously throughout the 28-minute decider before pulling away to a 11-21, 21-12, 21-17 triumph in 64 minutes.
Syed Modi International: Sindhu enters quarterfinals; Priyanshu runs Prannoy close
The speedy 30th-ranked left-handed Thai tested Sindhu’s defensive skills and did not let her unleash aggressive strokes for the better part of the match. Finally, it was Sindhu who broke away from 17-17 in the decider and forced a match-point with a forceful cross-court smash. She closed the match with a powerful forehand down-the-line
‘kill’ from the backhand court.
Sindhu faces fifth seeded Russian Evgenia Kosetskaya for a place in Sunday’s semifinal. From the bottom half where all four quarter-finalists were Indians, Malvika Bansod avenged the loss suffered to Aakarshi Kashyap in the India Open with a 21-11, 21-11 thrashing. Malvika plays Anupama Upadhyay on Saturday.
India Open: All’s well that ends well
The men’s quarterfinals saw 121st-ranked Mithun Manjunath upstage 71st-ranked Russian Sergey Sirant 11-21, 21-12, 21-18 after trailing 11-15 in the decider.
With the World No. 24 Prannoy falling to 79th-ranked Frenchman Arnaud Merkely in 19-21, 16-21 after failing to control the streak of unforced errors, Manjunath is the only Indian in the men’s draw. Next, Manjunath clashes with Merkely.
Meanwhile, Indian pairs occupied all semifinal berths in mixed doubles, three in men’s doubles and two in women’s doubles.
The Covid positive count went up with doubles players Apeksha Nayak and Malaysia’s Chen Tang Jie failing the test.
Quarterfinals (Indians unless stated):
|Men: Arnaud Merkley (Fra) bt H. S. Prannoy 21-19, 21-16; Mithun
Manjunath bt Sergey Sirant (Rus) 11-21, 21-12, 21-18; Nhat Nguyen
(Ire) bt Julien Carraggi (Bel) 21-14, 21-14; Lucas Claerbout (Fra) bt
Cheam June We (Mas) 21-11, 21-19.
Women: P. V. Sindhu bt Supanida Katethong (Tha) 11-21, 21-12, 21-17;
Men’s doubles: Prem Singh Chouhan & Rajesh Verma bt Astitva Kale &
Women’s doubles: H. M. Haritha & Ashna Roy bt Tanishka Deshpande &
Mixed doubles: M. R. Arjun & Treesa Jolly bt William Villeger & Anne