Rising Indian stars are making merry at the $65,000 Russian Open Grand Prix 2017 in Vladivostok, Russia with Rahul Yadav Chittaboina and the pair of Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok securing their places in the semi-finals on Friday.
The 19-year-old Chittaboina has been unstoppable at this Grand Prix event, giving ample evidence of his talent. The World No. 167 needed just 22 minutes to halt the run of English shuttler Yuehang Wang, ranked 251st.
The teen next meets the second seed Vladimir Malkov in what should be a tough last-four encounter for the youngster.
Chittaboina had earlier accounted for the fourth seed Subhankar Dey in a four-game thriller in the third round.
His best performance in the last few months has been reaching the quarter-finals of the Tata Open India International Challenge in December.
Arjun and Shlok continue to impress
In men’s doubles, fourth seeds Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok booked their berth in the semis with a gritty 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 win over the Japanese combine of Masato Takano and Yoshiki Tsukamoto.
They have an uphill task up next as they face the top seeds and title favourites Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov for a place in the summit clash.
Arjun and Shlok’s partnership has been on an upward trajectory for quite some time. The pair won the Iran Fajr Badminton International Challenge in February. Their steady improvement has seen them enter the top 50 and they are now placed at 47th.
Meanwhile, the campaign came to an end for the eighth seed Anand Pawar, who managed to snatch a game from the second seeded Vladimir Malkov only to eventually suffer a 4-11, 11-7, 8-11, 3-11 defeat.
In women’s singles, 19-year-old Vrushali Gummadi came close to upsetting the third seed Natalia Perminova but went down fighting 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11 in a battle that lasted 52 minutes.
Sixth seed Rasika Raje could not put up much resistance against the fourth seed Natsuki Nidaira and lost 2-11, 4-11, 7-11.
In mixed doubles, the only Indian pair of Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh too could not cross the quarter-final hurdle. The Indians squandered a one-game lead to slump to a 12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 8-11 defeat.