India International: Lakshya Sen and Abhishek Yelegar reach quarter-finals
Top seed Abhishek Yelegar and fourth seeded Lakshya Sen had absolutely no trouble in advancing to the quarter-finals of the India International Series tournament held at the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad on Friday.
The 81st ranked Yelegar breezed through his opener in just 33 minutes, posting a 21-9, 21-19 win over qualifier Dhruv Kumar. His next assignment turned out to be quite a tough one as he had to fight back from a first-game deficit for a 21-23, 21-18, 21-11 win over the 294th ranked Ansal Yadav.
He takes on qualifier Kartik Jindal for a place in the semi-finals. One more win could make him lock horns with the former junior World No. 1 Lakshya Sen, who is now ranked 110th.
Unlike Yelegar, Sen was at his brilliant best in both his matches and did not concede any game. The 16-year-old dismissed Sachin Rawat, 21-13, 21-11 and then followed it up with a facile 21-13, 21-17 victory over Shreyansh Jaiswal. Sen meets Kiran George in the last-eight clash.
Sixth seeded Rahul Yadav Chittaboina too made it through to the quarter-finals. He beat Adrian George, 21-18, 21-11 in the first round. In the next round, he was made to work hard by Mithun Manjunath for a 21-18, 18-21, 21-14 win that pits him opposite Siddharth Pratap Singh in the quarter-finals.
7 Indians in quarters in women’s singles
Seven rising stars from the country reached the quarter-finals in the women’s singles section. The highest seed among them is the fourth seeded Reshma Karthik, who now meets the seventh seeded Rasika Raje.
Karthik edged qualifier Prashi Joshi 21-14, 13-21, 21-18 and then carved out a 21-18, 21-15 win over Riya Mukherjee. Raje did not have to sweat that much for her two wins.
In the first round, she notched up a solid 21-9, 21-10 win over Deepali Gupta and then emerged a 21-14, 21-15 winner over Ira Sharma.
In the other quarter-final matches, fifth seeded Vaidehi Choudhari will face the second seeded Chua Hui Zhen Grace of Singapore with the latter being the only non-Indian player in the last-eight. Sixth seeded Mugdha Agrey will take on Tanishq Mamilla Palli and eighth seeded Shreyanshi Pardeshi will meet Shikha Gautam.
Nandagopal Kidambi progresses in men’s doubles
The India No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi’s elder brother, Nandagopal Kidambi entered the men’s doubles quarter-finals in partnership with Francis Alwin. The eighth seeds beat Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala/Srikrishna Sai Kumar Podile, 21-15, 21-14 and after that, posted a 21-14, 21-13 win over qualifiers, Vembarasan Venkatachalam and Lokesh Viswanathan.
The top seeds M Anilkumar Raju and Venkat Gaurav Prasad, who are ranked 93rd, prevailed over Alap Mishra and Prabhat Sirsat, 21-14, 21-15. In the second round, they claimed a 21-15, 22-20 win over Vighnesh Devlekar and Kabir Kanzarkar.
Women’s doubles top seeds Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram did not have to spend much time on court. While they got a bye in the first round, their second round opponents, Sumitra Pujari/Manali Sinha retired in the middle of the first game. The score was 9-4 in favour of the top seeds when Pujari and Sinha called it quits.
Indian pair upsets top seeds in mixed doubles
In the mixed doubles category, the Indian pair of Srikrishna Sai Kumar Podile and Rutaparna Panda pulled off a dramatic 16-21, 21-16, 24-22 upset victory over the top seeded Malaysian combine of Pang Ron Hoo and Yen Wei Peck.
However, they were unable to sustain that level and succumbed to a 22-20, 10-21, 12-21 loss to the qualifying team of Shivam Sharma and Poorvisha S Ram in the next round.