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Vietnam Open 2017: Lakshya Sen and Ruthvika Shivani bow out; men’s doubles pair progresses

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
08 Sep 2017, 20:16 IST

Lakshya
Lakshya Sen bowed out after a three-game battle

On a day of mixed fortunes for the Indian contingent, youngsters Lakshya Sen and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde bowed out of the quarter-finals at the $65,000 Yonex Sunrise Vietnam Open 2017 but the men’s doubles pair of Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran made it to the semi-finals of this Grand Prix event in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Lakshya lost after saving a match point

Sen, who has been dethroned from the World No. 1 position in the junior rankings, lost 17-21, 23-21, 10-21 to the 191st ranked Japanese teenager Kodai Naraoka.

With this loss, Sen’s eight-match winning streak comes to an end. The Uttarakhand boy came into this tournament on the back of winning the Bulgarian Open International Series in August. It is the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy product’s second career International-level title.

Lakshya is now at his career-best ranking of 137th and his quarterfinal opponent Naraoka is placed 44 spots below him in the rankings at 191st.

But the gulf in the rankings did not matter when the in-form Japanese took on the Indian. Naraoka had upset the top seed Hsu Jen Hao, 21-17, 17-21, 21-15 in the third round.

He carried that confidence into his showdown with his fellow 16-year-old Sen. Lakshya, however, did produce a sterling fightback in the second game by saving a match point but in the end, his weary legs gave way as he lost the decider from 9-13.

In women’s singles, promising talent Ruthvika Shivani Gadde too grabbed a game only to succumb to a 21-18, 15-21, 8-21 defeat to the third seed Dinar Dyah Ayustine of Indonesia in 55 minutes.

The South Asian Games gold medallist was on an injury-related hiatus for the first four months of the year and joined the Tour only in May. Even though she is showing flashes of her brilliance regularly, the three-game matches have been a problem for her of late.

The men’s doubles fifth seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran too dropped a game just like their compatriots but were able to rebound in the decider for a 21-13, 18-21, 21-13 victory over the Thai combine of Tinn Isriyanet and Kittisak Namdash.

They face the winner of the quarter-final between the third seeds Liao Min Chun/Su Cheng Heng and Muhammad Fachrikar/Reza Dwi Cahyo Purnomo.

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