New Delhi: Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy caused a huge upset by knocking out the sixth seeds and World No. 18 pair of Li Wenmei and Zheng Yu 22-20, 21-19 to enter the second round of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2019, part of HSBC BWF World Tour 500, here on Tuesday. Considering the Chinese reached the quarter-finals of the All England Open and the semi-finals of the Swiss Open, this was a highly confidence-boosting victory for the Indian pair.
The 23rd ranked Ponnappa and Reddy thus continue their good form a week after reaching the quarter-finals of the Swiss Open.Also Read: Pranav Jerry Chopra lead Indians into main draw
The Indians trailed the higher-ranked Chinese in both the games but managed to dig deep to get the win. Ashwini’s smashes helped the Indian duo get back on track after they went 16-18 in the first game. The Chinese looked in control of the second game until Ponnappa upped the intensity and Reddy complemented with her deft touches at the net.
The India No.1 pair attributed the success to the advice given by the newly-inducted doubles coaches, Flandy Limpele and Namrih Suroto. Working on their return of serves and patience made all the difference.
“The new coaches worked on our starting, we used to make a lot of mistakes on receiving. So focusing on serves and return of serves made a lot of difference. We didn't hurry, we were ready for the shuttle and were patient today,” told Ponnappa.
Men’s doubles pair of Kapil Chaudhary and Shubham Yadav won a tight first round over compatriots Bhaskar Chakraborty and Gaurav Deswal 21-12, 15-21, 21-16. They were joined in Round 2 by Aniruddha Mayekar and Vinay Kumar Singh, 21-15, 14-21, 21-13 winners over Kunwar Ishan Singh and Chandrabhusan Tripathi.
National Championships silver medallists Arjun MR and Shlok Ramachandran, however, suffered a 16-21, 18-21 defeat to China’s Kaixiang Huang and Zekang Wang.
Russian fourth seeds Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov were another of the seeded pairs to fall on Day 1 of this World Tour Super 500 tournament. Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin came back from a game down to beat Ivanov and Sozonov 19-21, 23-21, 21-19. Men’s doubles top seed Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and women’s doubles top seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu smoothly advanced to the second round.Also Read - India Open Badminton Live: Day 1