Sindhu enters quarters, 3 matches postponed due to uneven court
(EDS: Updating with additional information and results of other matches)
Guwahati, Feb 14 (PTI) Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu sailed into the quarterfinals with a straight game win but three pre-quarterfinals of the 83rd Senior National Badminton Championship had to be rescheduled after Saina Nehwal refused to play due to uneven surface of the court, here Thursday.
A former champion, Sindhu, top seed, took time to get into the groove before opening her campaign with a 21-11 21-13 win over Nagpur's Malvika Bansod in the women's singles, while top seed Sameer Verma, playing the next match at the Assam Badminton Academy courts, conceded a men's singles encounter against Aryamann Tandon midway at 21-16 1-8 after aggravating a achilles heel problem.
Up against Shruti Mundada in the pre-quarters, Saina then decided to have a look at the surface and made it clear that she won't risk playing on that "uneven" court with the All England Championship round the corner.
BAI secretary (events) Omar Rashid then postponed the three pre-quarterfinal matches, involving Saina, Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth, to the evening session after consulting the players.
"The wooden planks came out at a couple of places after Sindhu played her match. So they are now going to fix it. We will come back in the evening to play our pre-quarterfinal matches," Saina's husband and fellow player Parupalli Kashyap said.
Like last year, the players ranked within top 50 in the BWF ranking and top shuttlers in the BAI ranking, filled up the top eight places, who were given direct entry in the singles pre-quarterfinals after a super draw was conducted on Wednesday night.
Along with Sindhu, fourth seeded Assamese Ashmita Chaliha, third seed Shriyanshi Pardeshi, Riya Mookerjee, Aakarshi Kashyap, veteran Neha Pandit and Vaishnavi Bhale also made it to the last eight round.
In men's singles, former champion Sourabh Verma, Lakshya Sen, Kaushal Dharmamer, Harsheel Dani, Aryamann Tandon and Bodhit Joshi also progressed to the quarterfinals.
Sourabh defeated Kartik Jindal 21-8 21-15, Lakshya brushed aside Ansal Yadav 21-11 21-8 and Harsheel stunned fourth seed and 2018 SaarLorLux Open champion Subhankar Dey 21-15 21-17.
In men's doubles, top seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran defeated Rohan Kapoor and Saurabh Sharma 21-11 21-18 to enter the semifinals, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty got the better off veteran pair of Rupesh Kumar and V Diju 21-8 18-21 22-20 to make it to the last four stage.
Arun George and Sanyam Shukla and Krishna Prasad G and Dhruv Kapila also advanced to the semifinals