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Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly stun second seeds to enter All England semis; Lakshya Sen moves up

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand upset second seeds Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan of Korea 14-21, 22-20, 21-15 in the women's doubles quarter-finals in Birmingham on Friday. (Pic credit: BAI)
Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand upset second seeds Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan of Korea 14-21, 22-20, 21-15 in the women's doubles quarter-finals in Birmingham on Friday. (Pic credit: BAI)
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Suhas Nayse

On a day of festival of colors, Gayatri Gopichand Pullela and Treesa Jolly gave the perfect gift to their Indian fans with a colorful performance at the All England Championships.

Teenage sensation Gayatri Gopichand and Jolly Treesa created history by storming into the women’s doubles semifinals in Birmingham on Friday.

Summing up a memorable day, Lakshya Sen also sealed his spot in the last-four stages as his opponent gave him a walkover due to a back injury.

The unseeded Gayatri and Treesa pulled off one of the biggest upsets, stunning world No. 2 Sohee Lee and Seungchan Shin of Korea in the women’s doubles quarter-final.

19-year-old Gayatri and 18-year-old Treesa displayed nerves of steel as they saved two match points in the second game before powering to a 14-21, 22-20, 21-15 in a thrilling contest.

World No. 46 Gayatri and Treesa were on their way out as they trailed in the second game after losing the opening game. However, Gayatri and Treesa kept their focus and did not lose hope. They managed to save a couple of points before clinching the second game 22-20.

Once they leveled the game scoring 1-1, Gayatri and Treesa looked more confident in the decider. They established a big lead from the beginning and went on to consolidate it.

Gayatri (Telangana) and Treesa (Kerala) started the decider with a 3-0 lead. They soon made it 7-4 with some solid smashing from Treesa and excellent placements by Gayatri.

After 11-8 at the break and change of ends, Gayatri and Treesa jumped to 15-9 and then 17-10 as the Koreans found it hard to stop the inspiring Indian girls. Gayatri and Treesa sealed the fate of their opponents by claiming the decider (21-15). The marathon battle lasted for an hour and seven minutes.

It was an amazing performance by the Indian girls on the biggest stage. Gayatri, daughter of 2001 All England men’s singles champion Pullela Gopichand, is the perfect foil for the big-hitting Treesa.

Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly create history

With a spectacular win over the World Championships silver medalists, Gayatri and Treesa scripted history by becoming the first Indian pair to reach the semi-finals of the All England Championships.

Gayatri and Treesa were not part of the main draw initially as they were reserves but withdrawals resulted in the pair getting an opportunity at one of the biggest stages of badminton. The teenage duo made full use of the opportunity, beating the Aimsaard sisters from Thailand in the first round 17-21, 22-20, 21-14.

The duo then put up a strong fight against reigning Olympic champions Greysa Polii and Apriyani Rahayu before the Indonesian pair withdrew in the 2nd game due to an injury to the latter.

Treesa and Gayatri will now face Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu of China for a spot in the final on Saturday. The new Chinese pair is ranked 276 in the world.

Lakshya Sen gets a walkover from Chinese Lu Guang Zu

India will have two representatives in the semi-finals at this year’s All England Open as in-form Lakshya Sen was given a walkover in the last-four round of men’s singles.

World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya advanced to the semis after his opponent Lu Guang Zu of China gave him a walkover due to a back injury.

The 20-year-old from Almora, who bagged his maiden Super 500 title at the Indian Open in January, has been training at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy since his childhood.

Lakshya will meet the winner of the match between Malaysia’s sixth seed Lee Zii Jia and Japan’s second seed Kento Momota on Saturday.

Lakshya stunned the world No. 3 and the two-time medallist at the World Championships, Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-16, 21-18 on Thursday to reach the quarters.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty fail to break jinx against Indonesians

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty failed to cross the quarterfinal hurdles, losing 22-24, 17-21 to Indonesian top seed Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in 47 minutes.

Fifth seeds Satwik and Chirag wasted six game points in the first game before losing an extended opening game 22-24. The world No. 8 Indian duo also fought hard in the second game but simply could not break the world No. 1 pair.

It was the eleventh straight loss for the Indian pair against the mighty Indonesians.

Indian results (Quarter-finals)

Men’s singles

Lakshya Sen gets a walkover from Lu Guang Zu (China)

Women’s doubles

Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela bt 2-Lee Sohee-Shin Seungchan (Korea) 14-21, 22-20, 21-15 (67 minutes)

Semi-final line-up

Men’s singles

Lakshya Sen vs Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia) or Kento Momota (Japan)

Women’s doubles

Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela vs Zhang Shu Xian-Zheng Yu (China).


Edited by Prasen Moudgal
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