Lakshya Sen and women’s doubles team of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy exited the All England Championships, losing their quarterfinal matches in Birmingham on Friday.
Nineteen-year-old Lakshya went down fighting against Mark Caljouw of The Netherlands 17-21, 21-16, 17-21 in the last eight stages. The Indian youngster gave a good account of himself in the manner he fought back after losing the first game.
In the decider too, Lakshya played quite well, but the big lead he conceded in the early part of the game affected his chances. Trailing 11-16, Lakshya came up with a five-point burst to catch up with Mark. But from 18-17, Mark scored three straight points to clinch the decider.
Meanwhile, All England witnessed the biggest upset as world No.1 Kento Momota suffered a stunning defeat against Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia 16-21, 19-21. Lee will face Mark in the semifinals.
Earlier, Ashwini and Sikki squandered five game points and lost to Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen of The Netherlands 22-24, 12-21.
The Indian girls were within striking distance when they were leading at 20-17 in the first game. The Dutch girls, however, were in no mood to relent and saved three game points. At 20-20, the Indians scored two more points before their opponents won the first game with three straight points from 21-22.
Disappointed after losing the first game from such a dominant position the Indians lost rhythm in the second. They conceded a 0-4 lead and trailed their opponents by 4-11 and lost the game at 12-21.
Ashwini Ponnappa said that they struggled to control the shuttle due to sideways drift.
“We struggled to control the shuttle. There was a sideways drift and we were finding it hard to keep it in. We went too hard; maybe we should’ve been a lot more patient. But there are positives to take from this tournament, particularly our win yesterday over the Stoevas where we made very few mistakes. That’s the way going forward,” Ashwini told BWF website.
World champion PV Sindhu will face Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals late on Friday.