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Lakshya Sen rallies to down Prannoy; Aakarshi Kashyap ends Malvika Bansod’s run to join PV Sindhu in semis

Third seed Lakshya Sen beat HS Prannoy 14-21, 21-9, 21-14 in the men's singles quarterfinal in New Delhi on Friday (Picture: BAI)
Third seed Lakshya Sen beat HS Prannoy 14-21, 21-9, 21-14 in the men's singles quarterfinal in New Delhi on Friday (Picture: BAI)

Lakshya Sen continued his perfect run to reach the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2022 semifinal at the KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.

World Championships bronze medalist Lakshya Sen underlined his status as one of the top stars of Indian badminton with a come-from-behind win over HS Prannoy.

Lakshya rallied from a game down to pip Prannoy 14-21, 21-9, 21-14 in the men’s singles quarter-final of the tourney, which is part of HSBC BWF World Tour 500. World No. 17 Lakshya needed exactly an hour to overcome the stiff challenge from eighth seed Prannoy.

Lakshya versus Prannoy was definitely the marquee clash of the day and the two players did not disappoint in terms of effort and aggression. Third seed Lakshya started with a demonstration of his trademark attacking instinct and took an early lead. But Prannoy then began to step on the gas and his down-the-line smashes did hurt Lakshya’s game plan.

The 20-year-old began to make mistakes after facing Prannoy’s onslaught. But there was not much to differentiate between the two until 13-13, before the former garnered eight of the next nine points to pocket the game.

Lakshya Sen bounces back after losing first game

If Lakshya was feeling any pressure at this stage, he did not show that in his approach at the start of the second game and opened up a 3-0 lead. Prannoy was guilty of making too many errors while trying to force the pace and never recovered after he conceded a 4-12 lead.

It was Prannoy who started the decider better, racing to a 6-1 lead. It was the next point that probably changed the direction of the match. Lakshya defended a flurry of smashes from his opponent and scored the point with a cross-court drive.

Lakshya won 9 of the next 11 points by keeping the shuttle slightly away from the net on dribbles and attacking Prannoy’s body a lot more.

World No. 26 Prannoy did manage to level the score at 12-12 but could not maintain the tempo. Uttarakhand youngster Lakshya showed more patience during the rallies which helped him seal the deal against his older opponent.

“In the first game both of us were playing really fast and the aggression was also there. After the second game we started to rally more and I was a lot more comfortable. It was the first match for us at the international level. In the domestic circuit, we have beaten each other once each. I am happy to bounce back after losing the first game,” Lakshya said after the match.

Lakshya will now face NG Tze Yong of Malaysia tomorrow. Lakshya had beaten the world No. 60 Malaysian in 2019 in Bangladesh.

PV Sindhu overcomes late fightback from Ashmita Chaliha in the quarters

Top seed PV Sindhu took her designated spot in the semi-finals with a straight-game win in the women’s singles quarterfinals. In the all-India clash, Sindhu beat Ashmita Chaliha 21-7, 21-18 in 36 minutes.

Double Olympic medal winner Sindhu looked like racing away to victory against Ashmita when she pocketed the opening game 21-7. But if she was looking for yet another easy outing, it wasn't too be, with her opponent primed for a fight.

Ashmita has for long been considered a special talent among the next generation of shuttlers in the country. The 22-year-old from Assam showcased some of her attacking skills to put her much more illustrious compatriot under pressure. Southpaw Ashmita stretched Sindhu into the semifinals at the last Senior Nationals in Guwahati.

However, Sindhu's experience made the difference at the business end of the second game with the score tied at 15-15. Sindhu began moving her opponent a lot more ,and though Ashmita jumped and dived to keep the shuttle in play, it wasn’t enough to force a decider.

Sindhu will now face Thailand’s Supanida Katethong, who received a walkover in the quarterfinals after Singapore’s Jia Min Yeo conceded the match due to high fever.

Aakarshi Kashyap beat Malvika Bansod 21-12, 21-15 in the women's singles quarterfinals (Picture: BAI)
Aakarshi Kashyap beat Malvika Bansod 21-12, 21-15 in the women's singles quarterfinals (Picture: BAI)

Aakarshi Kashyap halts Malvika Bansod’s winning spree

Aakarshi Kashyap ended Malvika Bansod’s brilliant run in the tournament. Malvika shocked Saina Nehwal in the second round on Thursday but the Nagpur shuttler failed to repeat her magical display against Aakarshi.

World No. 111 Malvika looked nervous from the start and Aakarshi ensured that she could never settle down. India No. 1 Aakarshi Kashyap overcame the challenge of Malvika Bansod 21-12, 21-15 in a match that lasted 46 minutes.

World No. 76 Aakarshi mixed things up by being more aggressive than usual and forced Malvika into committing a lot of unforced errors. It was only at the end of the second game that Malvika looked like playing her game of engaging the opponent in long rallies. But by then she was 10-18 down and it was too little too late.

With this win, Aakarshi avenged the defeat she had suffered at the All India Senior Ranking tournament in Hyderabad to Bansod a couple of weeks ago.

It was the first time the two young Indian players faced each other in an international competition. They have played several times on the domestic junior and senior circuits in the last six years.

Nagpur shuttler Malvika Bansod fails to clear India Open quarterfinal hurdle on Friday. (Picture: BAI)
Nagpur shuttler Malvika Bansod fails to clear India Open quarterfinal hurdle on Friday. (Picture: BAI)

Chhattisgarh player Aakarshi Kashyap will now face second seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan. The Thai star ousted USA’s Lauren Lam 21-12, 21-8 in the other quarter-final.

In the men’s singles category, world champion Loh Kean Yew defeated Russia’s Sergey Sirant 21-16, 21-13.

Satwik-Chirag duo enters men’s doubles semis

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty entered the men’s doubles semifinals after thumping Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean 21-18, 21-18.

Second seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will lock horns with eighth seeds Fabien Delrue and William Villeger of France on Saturday.

Top seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan booked their last-four berths with a 21-12, 21-14 over Norway’s Torjus Flaaten and Vegard Rikheim.

Eighth seeds K Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam were upset by Ekaterina Malkova and Anastasiia Shapovalova of Russia 18-21, 14-21 in the women’s doubles.

Indian Results (Quarterfinals)

Men’s singles

3-Lakshya Sen bt 8-HS Prannoy 14-21, 21-9, 21-14 (60 minutes)

Women’s singles

1-PV Sindhu bt Ashmita Chaliha 21-7, 21-18 (36 minutes)

Aakarshi Kashyap bt Malvika Bansod 21-12, 21-15 (46 minutes)

Men’s doubles

2-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty bt Hee Yong Kai Terry-Loh Kean Hean (Singapore) 21-18, 21-18 (39 minutes)

Ishaan Bhatnagar-Sai Pratheek K lost to 3-Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Malaysia) 7-21, 7-21 (19 minutes)

Women’s doubles

8-K Ashwini Bhat-Shikha Gautam lost to Ekaterina Malkova-Anastasiia Shapovalova (Russia) 18-21, 14-21 (34 minutes)

Haritha MH-Ashna Roy bt Rudrani Jaiswal-Jamaludeen Anees Kowsar 21-16, 21-16 (30 minutes)

Deeksha Choudhary-Yashica Jakhar lost to 4-Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Thailand) 8-21, 3-21 (20 minutes)

Mixed doubles

Nithin HV-K Ashwini Bhat lost to Hee Yong Kai Terry-Tan Wei Han (Singapore) 15-21, 19-21 (30 minutes)

8-Venkat Gaurav Prasad-Juhi Dewangan lost to 3-Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei (Malaysia) 10-21, 13-21 (23 minutes).

Semifinal line-up

Men’s singles

3-Lakshya Sen vs Ng Tze Yong (Malaysia)

Women’s singles

1-PV Sindhu vs 6-Supanida Katethong (Thailand)

Aakarshi Kashyap vs 2-Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Thailand)

Men’s doubles

2-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty vs 8-Fabien Delrue-William Villeger (France).

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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