For the rest of the Indian contingent, it was a bittersweet affair as their campaign came to an abrupt halt. While World No.1 Kento Momota ousted HS Prannoy effortlessly, B. Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma also lost to defending champion Viktor Axelsen and World No.3 Anders Antonsen in their respective encounters.
19-year-old Lakshya Sen, who became the youngest Indian shuttler to make it to the last eight of the All England Open, was the saving grace on the men's side. Sen put up a brave fight against Frenchman Thomas Rouxel, winning 21-18, 21-17, in a stretched-out matter of 53 minutes.
For the 2019 World Champion, PV Sindhu, there was hardly any sweat broken as she stayed on course to win a maiden medal at the All England Open 2021. The Hyderabadi ace was quick to breeze past Denmark’s Line Christophersen - 21-8, 21-8 - in just 25 minutes to enter the quarter-finals at Birmingham. She faces arch-rival Akane Yamaguchi next.
The women's doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy also sizzled in their second round outing at the All England Open 2021. Needing just 33 minutes, the Indian pair outclassed the Stoeva sisters, Gabriela and Stefani, winning 21-17, 21-10 to sail into the last eight of the All England Open 2021.
Meanwhile, the men's doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, mixed doubles pairs of Dhruv Kapila-Meghana Jakkampudi and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa also crashed out of the All England Open 2021.
Here's the complete quarter-finals schedule for the Indian contingent at the All England Open 2021:
Lakshya Sen v Mark Caljouw: at 10 AM local time / 3.30 PM IST.
(5) PV Sindhu v (3) Akane Yamaguchi: at 10 AM local time / 3.30 PM IST.
Ashwini Ponnappa/Sikki Reddy v Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen: at 10 AM local time / 3.30 PM IST.
PV Sindhu to face Akane Yamaguchi next at All England Open 2021
Facing a familiar rival, the Swiss Open 2021 runner-up, PV Sindhu, will take on Japanese third-seed Akane Yamaguchi in the quarter-finals. After having an easy-breezy first two rounds against Soniia Cheah and Line Christophersen, Sindhu has a tough challenge on her hands now at the All England Open 2021.
The fifth-seeded Indian, PV Sindhu has won against Akane Yamaguchi 10 times in her career, while the Japanese has only been successful seven times in their meetings so far. However, Sindhu's last victory over Yamaguchi came at the 2018 BWF World Tour Finals, following which Yamaguchi notched a hat-trick of wins against the Indian. It remains to be seen how the in-form Sindhu will handle the challenge from Yamaguchi in the semi-finals of the All England Open 2021.
Meanwhile, Lakshya Sen will hope to extend his incredible run at Birmingham as he takes on Mark Caljouw from the Netherlands in his maiden quarter-final appearance at the All England Open 2021.
The women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy are also expected to have smooth sailing as they take on Dutch duo Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen in their quarter-final clash.