Title hopes for the Indian contingent remain alive as the mixed doubles team of K Nandagopal and Mahima Aggarwal made it to the final of the $8,000 Celcom Axiata Malaysia International Series 2017 in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. The unseeded pair put up a brilliant performance to beat fellow unseeded duo Zhen Ting Lim and Kah Mun Chin, 21-13, 21-17 in a semi-final match that lasted just 28 minutes.
Nandagopal and Aggarwal have an uphill task in front of them, though, with their opponents in the final being the top seeds Yantoni Edy Saputra and Marsheilla Gischa Islami of Indonesia.
The Indonesians are currently ranked 49th in the world and reached the semi-finals of the Victor International Series this year.
K Nandagopal, who is the elder brother of the India No. 1 men’s singles player Srikanth Kidambi, and Aggarwal won a round of qualifying at the Singapore Open in April before bowing out to fellow Indians Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and K Maneesha in the final qualifying round.
They have to be at their very best to have any chance in the final on Sunday.
Lakshya Sen out in second round, Chirag Sen exits in quarters
Chirag Sen was the only other Indian to have reached the quarter-finals. The 18-year-old fell to the 11th seeded June Wei Cheam, 10-21, 15-21 in men’s singles.
Earlier, he had got the better of the fifth seed Satheishtharan R of Malaysia in straight games.
The former junior World No. 1 Lakshya Sen, who is making rapid strides on the senior circuit, was also expected to go deep. But the 15-year-old crashed out in the second round, losing to qualifier Jhotiswaran Karupathevan in straight games.
In women’s singles, 18-year-old Riya Mukherjee was the only Indian to win a couple of matches and make it to the third round.
In women’s doubles, Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant were edged out in a narrow three-game second round match by the Indonesian combine of Mychelle Crhystine Bandaso and Marsheilla Gischa Islami.
There was no Indian participation in the men’s doubles section.Published 15 Jul 2017, 23:59 IST