Yonex Belgian International: Anup Sridhar upsets 2nd seed Ville Lang to march into quarterfinals

FILE PHOTO: Anup Sridhar

India’s Anup Sridhar upset second seed Ville Lang of Finland in straight games 21-10, 21-11 to storm into the men’s singles quarterfinals of the Yonex Belgian International badminton championships being played in Leuven, Belgium.

The 138th ranked Indian made a mockery of the rankings, displaying a nice blend of smash winners and net winners to surge ahead in the opening game.

The 30-year-old logged five points on the trot to sit pretty midway through the opening game before sealing the first game at 21-10.

Anup, who once reached a career-high ranking of 37, slipped into fifth gear in the second game, literally toying with his 40th ranked opponent before bagging the second game and the match at 21-11.

The Bangalore lad earlier caused a mild upset when he disposed higher ranked Thomas Rouxel of France in straight games 21-17, 21-17 in the opening round.

Anup looked in command of the proceedings against the 86th ranked opponent and played the closing points well to emerge triumphant.

The Indian now plays sixth seed Andre Kurniawan Tedjono of Indonesia for a place in the semifinals. Anup had played Tedjono once before at the 2005 Jakarta Satellite tourney where he lost in three games.

Earlier at the Adidas China Masters badminton tournament, India’s Anand Pawar frittered away an opening game win to lose in three games 21-12, 12-21, 17-21 to Japan’s Sho Sasaki in the second round at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium, Changzhou, China.

The 37th ranked Indian hit the straps straightaway in the opening game and caught the 21st ranked Japanese napping with his nifty net play. Even before Sasako could settle down, Pawar gained a sizable lead to hold sway midway through the opening game.

The Indian collected five points on the trot to consolidate his position before sealing the opening game at 21-12.

Unfazed by the listless opening game loss, Sasaki brought out his best to the fore, racing to an 8-0 lead and the early damage inflicted by Sasaki was enough for him to call the shots in the second game.

The Indian began the third game on a bright note, taking a 3-1 lead before Sasaki turned things around, collecting seven consecutive points to pave the way for a facile third game win at 21-16.

Ajay Jayaram had earlier crashed out in the first round, losing in straight games to China’s Yuekun Chen 14-21, 21-23.

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Edited by Staff Editor