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Czech Open 2018: Shuttler Harsheel Dani goes down in semi-finals, Indian challenge ends

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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276   //    30 Sep 2018, 20:56 IST

Har
Harsheel Dani

Indian shuttler Harsheel Dani’s gallant run came to an end at the Czech Open 2018 as he was shown the door by Toma Junior Popov in the semi-finals of this International Challenge tournament at Brno, Czech Republic on Saturday. Dani, a qualifier at this event, went down 20-22, 14-21 to the World No. 81 in 36 minutes.

The World No. 221 Indian had been on a giant-killing run this week. He started his main draw campaign with a 21-10, 17-21, 21-19 win over the eighth seed Lucas Claerbout. It was then followed with a gutsy 19-21, 21-14, 21-18 comeback win over Emre Lale of Turkey.

Dani then caused one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when he ousted the second seed Pablo Abian 22-20, 21-14, before seeing his own run ending a round later.

Fourth seed Subhankar Dey and unseeded Mithun Manjunath made it to the quarter-finals. While Dey lost to Popov 20-22, 15-21, Manjunath crashed out to fifth seed Thomas Rouxel 14-21, 21-18, 13-21.

Das goes down in quarter-finals

Earlier in the day, Rituparna Das’s challenge too ended in the quarter-finals. The former India national women’s singles champion has been in good form of late as she aims to climb her way back to the higher echelons of the sport following a bout of injuries.

The Haldia-born Das, a trainee at the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad, won the Polish International last week and was on a seven-match winning streak coming into the quarter-finals of the Czech Open. At this tournament, she had begun her campaign with a thrilling 21-13, 18-21, 22-20 win over the third seed Chloe Birch.

Das continued showing her fighting spirit when she eked out yet another tight 20-22, 21-14, 21-16 win over Vivien Sandorhazi. However, she could not keep it going in her third consecutive three-game match of the tournament as she was edged 21-16, 19-21, 16-21 by Lin Ying Chun.

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