Attri/Reddy and Gutta/Ponappa progress to the second round of All England Badminton Championships

Vishal Kungwani
B. Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri

Attri and Reddy handled pressure situations better

Young Indian pair of Manu Attri and B.Sumeeth Reddy shocked the highly experienced Chinese pair of Biao Chai and Wei Hong 9-21, 21-17, 21-17 in the opening round of the 105th edition of the Yonex All England Badminton Championships. Attri and Reddy, who are ranked 32nd in the world stunned the World No. 7 Chinese duo in a match that lasted almost an hour.

Indian pair didn’t start the match on a positive note as they were trailing by six points at the mid game interval of the opening game. Leading by 16-9, Chinese duo reeled off five points in quick succession to seal the opening game 21-9.

Attri and Reddy seized the initiative quite early in the second game and their attacking strategy paid good dividends as they took a strong four points lead before the mid game interval. Chinese team saved two game points at 15-20, but were unable to save the third one and hence lost 17-21.

It was more of the same in the third game as the Indian duo held their nerves at crucial moments to see the match out against China’s top doubles pair. From 14-all, Indian pair grabbed the next five points in quick succession to take a healthy lead. Indians failed to convert the first game point, but were lucky enough to convert the second as Chai lobbed a shuttle wide.

Good start in women’s doubles

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa also advanced to the second round of the Championships. Gutta and Ponappa, who are ranked 22nd in the world got the better of the World No. 26 Malaysian pair of Fie Cho soong and Amelia Alicia in the first round.

Indian pair, who won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships looked in supreme touch in the opening game as they thrashed the Malaysian pair to win the game 21-12. Second game was a lot more evenly contested as both the pairs were fighting hard for each and every point, but it was the Malaysian pair, who kept the calm at the desicive moment as they grabbed two points from 20 all to clinch the game 22-20.

Gutta and Ponnappa got off to a flying start in the final game as they were leading by six points at the half way mark. This lead proved to be very crucial for the experienced Indian pair as they managed to hold on to it till the end and won the game 21-14.

Indian pair have a tough task ahead as they will next play the World No. 1 Chinese pair of Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao for a place in the quarterfinals.

Edited by Staff Editor


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