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Fuzhou China Open 2018: Kidambi Srikanth advances, Rankireddy and Shetty upset seventh seeds

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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385   //    07 Nov 2018, 18:29 IST

Kidambi Srikanth
Kidambi Srikanth

While 2014 men’s singles champion Kidambi Srikanth advanced smoothly to the second round, the Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty caused a big upset by knocking out the seventh seeds Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding at the Fuzhou China Open 2018 on Wednesday.

The fifth-seeded Srikanth faced no hassle in his 21-12, 21-16 win over France’s World No. 42 Lucas Corvee in his first-round match. From 5-5, the Indian broke away to lead 11-7 and then quickly raced ahead to 18-10 before wrapping up the opening game.

The second game turned out to be a lot more competitive as they remained tied till 7-7. Srikanth increased the gap between him and his opponent to lead 11-9 at the time of the mid-game interval.

After the break, Srikanth staved off a challenge from the Frenchman to go up 14-11 and then kept steadily adding points to his kitty to take a five-point advantage at 19-14.

Corvee made a last-ditch effort and saved a couple of match points but it was too late as the former World No. 1 converted his third match point to secure the win in 34 minutes.

Srikanth next faces the 10th-ranked Tommy Sugiarto for a place in the quarter-finals.

HS Prannoy, who made a comeback from injury, went down to the Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie 11-21, 14-21 in 34 minutes.

In women’s singles, rising star Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka was outplayed by former World Junior Championships silver medallist Pornpawee Chochuwong 12-21, 16-21.

Mixed fortunes for Rankireddy

India’s 18-year-old doubles star Satwiksairaj Rankireddy experienced mixed fortunes on Day 2 of this Super 750 tournament as he lost his mixed doubles first round match even as he had huge success in men’s doubles.

Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty held their nerves but needed four match points to complete a 23-21, 24-22 upset win over the seventh seeds Conrad-Petersen and Pieler Kolding in 53 minutes. This is the third career win for the World No. 21 pair over the 6th ranked Danish duo.

In mixed doubles, Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa squandered a one-game lead to go down fighting 21-18, 19-21, 17-21 to the seventh seeds Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in 1 hour 3 minutes.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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