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All England Open 2021, Day 2: Sameer Verma crashes out, Ashwini Ponnappa-N. Sikki Reddy into quarters

N Sikki Reddy (left) and Ashwini Ponnappa sail into the quarters
N Sikki Reddy (left) and Ashwini Ponnappa sail into the quarters
Sohinee Basu
SENIOR ANALYST

With a power-packed performance, the women's doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy sailed into the quarters of the All England Open 2021. In the final few matches of the second round, the Indian shuttlers couldn't taste much success, succumbing to losses.

While Sameer Verma went down fighting against Anders Antonsen, the men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were also ousted from the All England Open 2021.

It was yet another bittersweet day at the office for Indian shuttlers in Birmingham. Earlier in the day, 2019 World Champion PV Sindhu and 2019 Asian Junior Champion Lakshya Sen produced stellar performances – upsetting Line Christophersen and Thomas Rouxel, respectively, to book a place in the last eight.

But for HS Prannoy, B. Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma, Ashwini Ponnappa-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Dhruv Kapila-Meghana Jakkampudi, the campaign ended in the second round as they all crashed out of the All England Open 2021.


End of Sameer Verma's campaign at All England Open 2021

Sameer Verma
Sameer Verma

Sameer Verma's run at the All England Open 2021 came to a halt as he had to bow out of the tournament after a loss against Anders Antonsen. Taking on the World No.3 from Denmark for the sixth time in his career, Verma failed to cause much trouble for the veteran player.

The World No.27, Sameer Verma, who had produced quality badminton at the Thailand tournaments in January and was looking to continue that form, made a good start against Antonsen.

The first game was tight and racy, with Antonsen edging Verma to win it 20-22. However, in the second game, the Dane clearly dominated, sealing the entire match 20-22, 10-21 to end Verma's campaign at the All England Open 2021.


Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy predicted to make it to the semi-finals at All England Open 2021

Chirag Shetty (left) and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy crash out
Chirag Shetty (left) and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy crash out

Keeping hopes alive for the women's doubles section was the trusted duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy, who took on the sixth-seeded Stoeva sisters. Winning 21-17, 21-10, the pair of Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy were all-attacking against the Bulgarian pair of Garbriela and Stefani Stoeva, pulling off the upset in just 33 minutes.

With this victory, Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy have sailed into the quarter-finals of the All England Open 2021, where they will lock horns with the Dutch duo of Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen. The latter received a walkover in the second round of the All England Open 2021 after their opponents from Indonesia, Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu withdrew from the tournament. Hoping to cash in on this winning momentum, Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy are expected to come out on top of their quarter-final clash and move into the last four.

Meanwhile, dreams came crashing for the dynamic duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty as they failed to startle the Danish pair of Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen at the All England Open 2021. The Indian men's doubles No.1 pair lost - 16-21, 21-11, 17-21.

The mixed doubles pair of Dhruv Kapila and Meghana Jakkampudi also lost to the Danish duo of Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund. In 29 minutes, the Indian pair lost in straight games - 21-19, 21-8.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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