Tata Open: Lakshya Sen advances to the semi-finals, Sourabh Verma crashes out
Sixth seed Lakshya Sen made a smooth progress into the semi-finals but top seed Sourabh Verma crashed out of the $20, 000 Tata Open India International Challenge in Mumbai on Friday. World No. 161 Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand held his nerves to pull off a narrow 21-7, 12-21, 22-20 win over the 49th ranked Verma in the second round in 58 minutes.
The struggling Verma has thus lost six of his last seven matches. The former World No. 30 sustained an ankle injury during training in September that required him to be out of action for two months. He came to this tournament with the hope of getting some much required confidence boost ahead of the Premier Badminton League and the 2018 season.
Sen on an eight-match winning streak
In contrast, the 16-year-old Lakshya Sen registered an effortless 21-11, 21-17 win over qualifier, Swarnaraj Bora in the second round and then followed it up with an equally commanding 21-8, 21-14 win over another qualifier, Siddharth Pratap Singh to reach the semi-finals.
Sen meets the winner of the quarter-final between the second seed Abhishek Yelegar and Teck Zhi Soo of Malaysia.
The teenager is now on an impressive eight-match winning streak after successfully defending his title at the India International Series in Hyderabad last week.
Fifth seed Pratul Joshi was shown the door by 19-year-old Mithun Manjunath in the quarter-finals. The latter needed 1 hour 5 minutes to secure the marathon 23-21, 21-23, 21-15 win. Eighth seed Rahul Yadav Chittaboina too was sent packing.
Ira Sharma shocks top seed Rituparna Das
17-year-old Ira Sharma continues her string of upsets in women’s singles at this tournament. A day after dismissing the fifth seed, Sharma brought forth her tremendous fighting skills to grab an 18-21, 21-18, 21-19 win over the top seed Rituparna Das in the quarter-finals.
Sharma sharpens her skills under the tutelage of Dronacharya awardee SM Arif in Hyderabad.
Eighth seed and South Asian Games champion Ruthvika Shivani Gadde defeated the second seeded Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli, 17-21, 21-10, 21-17 to enter the semi-finals.
Men’s doubles and women’s doubles top seeds upset
The doubles section witnessed a few stunning results on Day 3 of this tournament. The India No. 1 men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who are the defending champions, fell 21-11, 17-21, 10-21 to the Malaysian duo of Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh.
Rankireddy and Shetty have broken into the top 30 in a stellar debut season on the Superseries circuit.
The women’s doubles top seeded combine of Megjana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram was beaten 21-19, 10-21, 9-21 by the Hong Kong pair of Ng Wing Yung and Yuen Sin Ying. The mixed doubles second seeds Prajakta Sawant and Yogendran Khrishnan also exited the event following a 19-21, 22-20, 15-21 loss to Tang Jie Chen and Liu Ying Goh of Malaysia.