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Asian Games

Asian Games Badminton: Sindhu, Prannoy, Satwik-Chirag enter quarters; Srikanth eliminated

PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy won their Round of 16 matches in straight games, while the men's doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag defeated Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin in a three-setter.

Asian Games Badminton: Sindhu, Prannoy, Satwik-Chirag enter quarters; Srikanth eliminated
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FILE PHOTO: Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won their seventh BWF World Tour title at the French Open Super 750 on March 10, 2023. 

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 4 Oct 2023 10:52 AM GMT

Indian badminton players have had a mixed day in the pre-quarterfinals at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou on Wednesday.

While PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy in singles and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in men's doubles have cruised to the quarterfinals on an expected note, dominating their matches, India's top women's doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand went down fighting.

Kidambi Srikanth, the last Indian in action in the Round of 16 against Kodai Naraoka, exited the Games, suffering a 21-16, 21-17 defeat.

India's hope for a medal ended in women's doubles when Treesa-Gayatri and Tanisha Crasto-Ashwini Ponnappa were knocked out.

Sindhu, up against world no. 34 Putri Kusuma Wardani of Indonesia, won her pre-quarterfinal match in straight games 21-16, 21-16 in 55 minutes.

The result might not suggest the intensity of the match, but Wardani, who previously defeated Sindhu at the Swiss Open earlier this year, kept her Indian rival at toe at 10-10 in the first game.

Sindhu dominates Wardani

But Sindhu, using her experience and winning the net battles with crosscourt pushes and clips, broke away to an 18-13 lead, winning five quick points. Wardani tried to fight back, winning four points with smashes and a few good calls, but Sindhu kept her calm and bagged the opening game with a 21-16 win.

In the second game, Wardani fought back, taking early advantage of 4-1. But Sindhu's smashing would see young Wardani failing to retrieve those kills, losing the lead as Sindhu gained an 8-4 lead.

Being the better and dominant player, Sindhu would retain her lead (11-8) at the interval even though Wardani fought her way back with four points.

After the break, Wardani came out strong, reducing Sindhu's lead to 14-13, with the Indian losing the net battle more often, as the Indonesian player played her drop shots with august effect.

But Sindhu would retain her lead at 17-14, with her shot trickling over the net. She did not let Wardani make any late comeback and sealed the contest with a 21-16 win.

Prannoy, meanwhile, has no trouble winning his Round of 16 match against Dmitriy Panarin of Kazakhstan. Against an unheralded player, world no. 7 Prannoy needed only 29 minutes to seal his place in the quarterfinals with a 21-12, 21-13 win.

Treesa-Gayatri loses fighting

However, Treesa-Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand would not be very happy to lose a chance to produce an upset win over world no. 3 Korean pair Kim Soyeong and Kong Heeyong.

The Koreans would comfortably take the lead in the match with a 21-15 win in the first game.

The second game saw a neck-to-neck battle, with Treesa-Gayatri edging Kim and Kong to take an 11-10 lead at the interval. It remained so close that both pairings were at loggerheads at 17-17 before Treesa and Gayatri reached the game point at 20-18, with them rotating in sync and translating their defence to offence with relentless smashing. They would force the decider, winning the game 21-18.

In the third game, the Indians would stay in the fight till 7-7 before Kim and Kong, more experienced than the Indians, won an 11-8 lead at the interval. It was one-way traffic after the break, with Kim and Kong rattling the Indians with smashes and rapid exchanges to win the game 21-13 and the match 2-1.

The other Indian women's doubles pair of Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa were no match for world no. 6 Zhang Shuxian and Zheng Yu of China, as they succumbed to a straight-game defeat. Tanisha and Ashwini lost the first game 13-21.

In the second game, they fought valiantly before conceding the game 23-21 and the match in 48 minutes.

Tanisha, pairing up with Krishna Prasad, also suffered a straight-game (18-21, 18-21) defeat against Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei of Malaysia in their mixed doubles match.

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