Vietnam International: Siril Verma enters pre-quarter-finals
The Indian badminton contingent at the $20,000 Yonex Sunrise Vietnam International Challenge in Hanoi, Vietnam had mixed fortunes on Wednesday as only 12th seed Siril Verma was able to progress into the third round while the rest of the singles shuttlers bowed out.
The former junior World No. 1, who is now placed at 93rd in the senior rankings, faced some stiff resistance from local hope and World No. 251 Duc Phat Le, but managed to eke out a 21-15, 22-24, 21-7 win in the end. The thrilling second round match lasted 55 minutes.
The 17-year-old Verma has a tough task up next as he meets the fourth-seeded Indonesian Panji Ahmad Maulana, who is ranked 30 places higher than him.
However, the campaign came to an early end for the eighth seed Abhishek Yelegar. He was completely outplayed in the opening game by the World No. 228 Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo. Even though the Indian put up an impressive fightback in the second game, it was still not enough as he fell 8-21, 19-21 in 33 minutes.
Bodhit Joshi, who qualified for the main draw and secured a first-round win on Tuesday, too was beaten. The 19-year-old lost 17-21, 11-21 to the 10th seed Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia.
In the women's singles, 21-year-old Rasika Raje put up a gutsy fight in the first game against the sixth seed Nguyen Thuy Linh. However, her efforts were in vain as the Vietnamese shuttler pulled off a 24-22, 21-16 win in 37 minutes.
Doubles pairs progress
India had a much better show in the doubles section. The sixth-seeded men's doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy needed just 28 minutes to get the better of Chinese duo of An Junchen and Lui Haichao, 21-13, 21-16. The two captured four titles last year and will hope to emulate that this year.
Rankireddy did not have the same good fortunes in mixed doubles, though. He and K Maneesha, who were seeded third, were upset 21-23, 8-21 by the Chinese team of Wang Sijie and Ni Bowen in 35 minutes.
India had another win in men's doubles. The fourth seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran showed a stunning show of resilience to prevail 21-15, 17-21, 21-19 over Chen Sihang and Shi Longfei in a 50-minute battle.