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Saina, Sindhu reach quarters; Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei out of India Open

Li Dan and Lee Chong Wei were two of the four top-10 seeds to fall in the men's singles draw on Thursday

PV Sindhu in action at the India Open on Thursday (image courtesy: BAI)
PV Sindhu in action at the India Open on Thursday (image courtesy: BAI)

The top two Indian women’s singles shuttlers – Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu – booked their places in the quarter-finals of the $300,000 Yonex Sunrise India Open Superseries on Thursday but curtains shockingly came down on the campaigns of superstars Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei in men’s singles.

Second seed and defending women’s singles champion Saina Nehwal faced some resistance from the 29th ranked Nitchaon Jindapol in the first game but she managed to eke it out 21-19. The Indian was in control of the second game and closed out the 21-19, 21-14 win in 42 minutes.

She next meets the fifth-seeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun for a place in the semi-finals.

World No. 11 PV Sindhu had a tougher day at the office as she came back from a game down to edge past World No. 20 Busanan Ongbumrungphan, 17-21, 21-19, 21-16. The contest lasted 1 hour 16 minutes.

The two-time World Championships bronze medallist will square off against the World No. 15 Bae Yeon Ju of Korea in the last-eight stage.

Four top-10 seeds fall in men’s singles draw

It was, however, the shocking upsets in the men’s singles draw that was the biggest talking point of the day at the Siri Fort Stadium. As many as four top 10 seeds fell in the second round on Thursday that left the tournament bereft of two of the most accomplished shuttlers, Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei.

The Chinese two-time Olympic gold medallist Dan had captured his sixth All England Championships crown in early March and was considered to be one of the heavy favourites for the title. But the 32-year-old surprisingly came up short against the 13th ranked Son Wan Ho as he lost 13-21, 20-22.

The top seed and former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei too followed him as he succumbed to a 19-21, 19-21 defeat to World No. 14 Wei Nan of Chinese Taipei.

Others big names who bowed out on Thursday included the third seed Jan O Jorgensen who was beaten 18-21, 21-15, 14-21 by Xue Song of China. Seventh seed Tian Houwei, who stopped defending champion Kidambi Srikanth in the first round, lost 21-18, 19-21, 13-21 to Marc Zwiebler of Germany.

Among the other Indians, men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy was defeated 19-21, 12-21 by the Chinese Taipei duo of Chen Hung Ling and Chi-Lin Wang. Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar too had the same fate as they departed with an 18-21, 15-21 loss to the second seeds Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang.

The women’s doubles combine of Mohita Sahdev and Sanjana Santosh was the only Indian doubles team to enter the quarter-finals. Sahdev and Santosh will meet the Japanese partnership of Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao on Friday.

The mixed doubles pairs of Manu Attri/Ashwini Ponappa and Pranaav Jerry Chopra/N Sikki Reddy were ousted in the second round. Also losing was Rituparna Das in women’s singles, whose run was ended by the fourth seed Ratchanok Intanon, 9-21, 4-21.

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