PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy registered come-from-behind victories to move into the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Masters Super 750 badminton tournament in Bali on Thursday.
Prannoy was the star of the day as he knocked out Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Viktor Axelsen in the men’s singles second-round match.
Lakshya Sen, meanwhile, fought well against top seed Kento Momota but eventually fell short.
HS Prannoy ends five-match losing streak against Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen
Former top-10 player HS Prannoy rallied in splendid fashion to topple second seed Viktor Axelsen. The unseeded Indian won 14-21, 21-19, 21-16 to record his first-ever victory over the Dane.
In an engrossing battle which lasted an hour and 11 minutes, Prannoy displayed nerves of steel to end his five-match losing streak against the Denmark star.
Prannoy started slowly and conceded the opening game in tame fashion. However, the 2017 national champion staged a remarkable recovery to claim the second game 21-19.
The third game was a tight affair until Axelsen reeled off four successive points at 7-7 to take a four-point lead at the break. From 7-11 down, Prannoy switched gears and won 14 of the next 19 points to seal a spot in the next round,
Prannoy will now take on his regular practice partner Kidambi Srikanth next. Srikanth leads the head-to-head record 4-2.
Srikanth shocks sixth seed Jonatan Christie in three games
Kidambi Srikanth shocked sixth seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia 13-21, 21-18, 21-15 in a battle which lasted 62 minutes.
It was Srikanth’s fourth win over the reigning Asian Games champions in their seventh clash on the BWF circuit. World No. 15 Srikanth had also won their last encounter between at the All England Championships in 2020.
World No. 8 Christie got off to a flying start but failed to maintain the tempo against an inspired Srikanth and fell in three games.
Lakshya Sen, meanwhile, was beaten by Kento Momota 13-21, 19-21 in 46 minutes. The 20-year-old Indian put up a brave fight but ultimately had no answer to the Japanese's strokeplay.
Sindhu rallies superbly to down Spain’s Clara Azurmendi
Double Olympic medalist PV Sindhu reached the quarter-finals after a hard-fought victory against Spain's Clara Azurmendi.
Third seed Sindhu took 47 minutes to post a 17-21, 21-7, 21-12 win in the women’s singles second-round clash.
Sindhu will next lock horns with Turkey's Neslihan Yigit in the quarterfinals. Sindhu leads the head-to-head against Yigit 3-0 with two of her wins coming this year.
India’s challenge in doubles ends
Dhruv Kapila and N Sikki Reddy went down 15-21, 23-21, 18-21 against the Thai duo of Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran. Kapila and Sikki Reddy had previously upset the second seeds in the mixed doubles first round on Wednesday.
Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy lost to third seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand 18-21, 12-21 in the women's doubles second round.
Indian Results (Round 2)
Kidambi Srikanth bt 6-Jonatan Christie (Indonesia) 13-21, 21-18, 21-15 (62 minutes)
Lakshya Sen lost to 1-Kento Momota (Japan) 13-21, 19-21 (46 minutes)
HS Prannoy bt 2-Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) 14-21, 21-19, 21-16 (71 minutes)
3-PV Sindhu bt Clara Azurmendi (Spain) 17-21, 21-7, 21-12 (47 minutes)
Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy lost to 3-Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Thailand) 18-21, 12-21 (42 minutes)
Dhruv Kapila-N Sikki Reddy lost to Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran (Thailand) 15-21, 23-21, 18-21 (54 minutes).
3-PV Sindhu vs Neslihan Yigit (Turkey)
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Kidambi Srikanth vs HS Prannoy.