PV Sindhu and teen shuttler Lakshya Sen marched into the quarterfinals of the All England Open Championships, while HS Prannoy and Sai Praneeth lost their second round matches in Birmingham on Thursday.
Sindhu took just 25 minutes to thrash Line Christophersen of Denmark 21-8, 21-8 in the second round. The fifth seeded Indian will face familiar foe Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the quarterfinals on Friday. Yamaguchi got a walkover in the second round. World No.7 Sindhu enjoys a 10-7 win-loss record against Yamaguchi.
Earlier, Lakshya downed Thomas Rouxel of France 21-18, 21-17, hours after defeating World No.18 Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 21-18, 21-12 in the first round. The World No.28 has a good chance of reaching the semifinals as he will face Mark Caljouw of The Netherlands who defeated Nhat Nguyen of Ireland. This will be the first meeting between the two.
Late on Wednesday, Saina Nehwal retired in the middle of the second game against Mia Blichfeldt. The Dane was leading 21-8, 10-4 when Saina quit. The Indian team informed TOI that Saina suffered a right thigh muscle pull.
Though he played well, Prannoy was unable to stop Kento Momota of Japan 15-21, 14-21. Sai, meanwhile, looked like upsetting Viktor Axelsen of Denmark when he won the first game and led 5-0 in the second game. However, the Dane came back to dominate the Indian in the latter part of the match 15-21, 21-12, 21-12.
Meanwhile, the entire Indonesian team and a Turkish women’s singles player were withdrawn from the tournament after a passenger who travelled on the same flight tested positive for Covid-19.
Some Indonesian players like their top seeded men’s doubles team have already completed their first round matches.
Dhruv Kapila and Jakkampudi Meghana benefitted by the withdrawal of Indonesian top mixed doubles team of Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti. However, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa and Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Sikki Reddy lost their first round matches.
Pranaav and Sikki lost to Rasmus Espersen and Christine Busch of Denmark 15-21, 17-21. Satwik-Ashwini lost 21-19, 21-9 to Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo of Japan.