Swiss Open Badminton 2017: HS Prannoy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Sikki Reddy reach quarter-finals?
Defending men’s singles champion HS Prannoy produced a stunning show of resilience to edge the 10th seed Qiao Bin for a place in the quarter-finals of the $120, 000 Yonex Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold at Basel on Thursday. The fifth seed needed 73 minutes to eke out a narrow 9-21, 23-21, 21-15 win over the Chinese.
The Indian looked completely clueless as Bin came racing out of the blocks. Never taking his foot off the pedal, the World No. 24 thoroughly dominated and outplayed Prannoy, who is currently ranked just one place above him.
But Prannoy was not one to give up. Having played him as recently as last week at the All England Championships, the Indian knew what exactly to do even though it was not easy.
It turned out to a gritty, closely-fought second game where the Pullela Gopichand protégé held his nerves to edge Bin 23-21 which was totally reminiscent of how he held off the fired-up Chinese last week.
Prannoy had begun the 2017 season showing some impeccable form. He remained unbeaten in the second season of the Premier Badminton League and even though, he has been slightly inconsistent since then, he is making every effort to get back to the top 15 of the world where he once was.
Having said that, a tough task awaits him up next as he locks horns with the second seed and All England Championships runner-up Shi Yuqi.
Chopra-Reddy show class as well
The top Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy too made it to the last-eight. Despite facing some stiff resistance from the Chinese Taipei combine of Ko-Chi Chang and Hsin Tien Chang in the first game, the fourth seeds were successful in clinching the opener. Then they cruised through the second game to notch up a 26-24, 21-10 win.
In the quarter-finals, they will be up against the fifth seeded Chinese duo of Zhang Nan and Li Yinhui.
Portuguese International winner Subhankar Dey's brilliant run, meanwhile, came to an end in the pre-quarter-finals. Dey lost 19-21, 14-21 to Japanese shuttler Kanta Tsuneyama, who had earlier accounted for Indians Lakhanee Sarang and 13th seed Sameer Verma.