Denmark Open Day 3 Round-up: HS Prannoy upsets Lee Chong Wei; Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi too win
US Open winner HS Prannoy made it a great Diwali for Indian badminton fans by knocking out the former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei to reach the quarter-finals of the $750, 000 Danisa Denmark Open in Odense, Denmark on Thursday. World No. 8 Srikanth Kidambi and former champion Saina Nehwal also joined him in the last-eight, making it a flawless day for the Indian contingent.
It was Prannoy, who absolutely stole the show on Day 3 of the tournament. He needed 1 hour 3 minutes to edge the seventh seed, 21-17, 11-21, 21-19 and get his second consecutive win over the Malaysian legend.
Prannoy continued from where he had left at the Indonesia Open in June. Attacking Lee’s forehand repeatedly with precision, he broke away from a 15-15 tie to take the first game. In the second game, a flurry of errors did not help his cause at all as the two-time former champion made a remarkable comeback.
In the decider, Lee built a lead of 13-11 and was beginning to look the more confident of the two when Prannoy turned it around and raced ahead to 18-13, bagging seven points in a row. In a dramatic finish to the match, the Malaysian stormed back to level 19-19 before Prannoy found his angular smash to complete the big win.
Srikanth comes back amidst drama at the stadium
Srikanth’s match was marred by a long interruption caused due to lights going out on Court 3. Because of that, Saina’s match, which was scheduled right after Srikanth on the same court, also got postponed as it had to be shifted to a different court.
The Indonesia Open and Australian Open champion was clearly affected by the situation and got thoroughly outplayed by the 34th ranked Jeon Hyeok Jin in the second game. The India No. 1 rebounded in the decider and surged to 19-12 before staving off a late challenge from the Korean for a 21-13, 8-21, 21-18 win in 1 hour 51 minutes.
Later in the day, Saina Nehwal continued her confident display a day after ousting the Olympic champion Carolina Marin. She ground out a tough opener against the 15th ranked Nitchaon Jindapol and then carved out a comfortable second game for a 22-20, 21-13 win over the Thai.