Top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma made it to the quarter-finals of the $600,000 Victor Korea Open Superseries but it was the young men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty who stole the show in Seoul on Thursday. The World No. 39 duo put up a swashbuckling performance to oust the seventh seeds and World No. 9 Chinese Taipei combine of Lee Jhe-Huei and Lee Yang, 23-21, 16-21, 21-8 in 52 minutes.
This is their maiden appearance in the quarter-finals of any Superseries tournament and is surely a big achievement for Indian doubles. The fast-rising pair climbed to the India No. 1 position briefly this year before Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy wrested it back from them.
Rankireddy and Shetty will next take on the Japanese third seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda for a place in the semi-finals.
In singles, fifth seeded PV Sindhu staved off a challenge from the Thai World No. 16 Nitchaon Jindapol 22-20, 21-17 to book her quarter-final berth. Jindapol, with whom Sindhu was tied at 1-1 in their head-to-head meeting prior to this showdown, gave a tough fight in every game.
But the World Championships silver medallist managed to find out a way to raise her game and race to the finish line towards the end of every game. In the quarter-finals, Sindhu will face Japan's World No. 19 Minatsu Mitani, who upset the top seed Tai Tzu Ying 23-21, 14-21, 21-18 in the second round.
Sameer to face the World No. 1
Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold champion Sameer Verma needed 42 minutes to dismiss Hong Kong’s Wong Wing ki Vincent 21-19, 21-13. Up next for him is an uphill task as the top seed and World No. 1 Son Wan Ho waits in the last-eight.
The Korean got the better of the Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, 21-16, 17-21, 21-16 in the second round.
Singapore Open Superseries winner Sai Praneeth put up a gritty show in the second game and saved three match points but was not able to topple the seventh seed Wang Tzu Wei in the second round. The Chinese Taipei ace pulled off a 21-13, 26-24 win in 40 minutes.