Former champions PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the quarterfinals after easy wins but the highlight of the day was HS Prannoy’s thrilling victory over Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen on the third day of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open on Thursday. B Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap also advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Tour Super 500 event after contrasting wins in the men’s singles competition.
Sindhu, who clinched the title in 2017, thrashed Hong Kong’s Deng Joy Xuan 21-11 21-13 in the women’s singles, while Srikanth recorded a 21-11 21-16 win over China’s Lu Guangzu in the men’s event. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu will next face Denmark’s eighth seed Mia Blichfeldt, who had won the Barcelona Spain Masters, while Srikanth set up a meeting with compatriot B Sai Praneeth in a rematch of their 2017 Singapore Open final.
Still recovering from a stomach problem which led to a nagging gastro-esophageal reflux and breathing issue that spoilt his last season, Prannoy overcame stiff resistance from former world number 2 Jorgensen 21-19, 20-22 and 21-17 to enter his first quarterfinals in eight months.
“It was a tough match. Jan was playing really well, the conditions were difficult. Jan’s game is very tricky and he is very confident on certain strokes and he is experienced,” the 24-year-old Prannoy said.
“I could trust myself and lot of credit goes to coaches. The quality of the match was not that great, not many long rallies. There were short rallies. I played on a positive note. I stepped up in the second game and took a good lead in the third,” he added.
Prannoy will next lock horns with second seed and title favourite Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, who had made it to the All England Championship final.
Praneeth, who had reached the final at Swiss Open early this month, eked out a thrilling come-from-behind 18-21 21-16 21-15 win over fifth-seeded compatriot Sameer Verma. “It is obviously tough. We know each other’s weaknesses and strengths, so with nobody outside the court to tell you something about strategies, you have to think on your own,” Praneeth said.
Kashyap, a 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, got rid of Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-11 21-13 in the pre-quarterfinal contest to set up a fight with Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei, who ended Subhankar Dey’s giant-killing run with a 21-16 21-13 win.
“I think he started well, connecting a couple of smashes in the initial parts and I missed my defence. But I was ready for him because this is the consecutive 2nd or 4th time I have beaten him,” Kashyap said.
Riya Mookerjee too showed the stomach to fight before going down 8-21 21-17 13-21 to eighth seed Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark.
The Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, seeded sixth, overcame China’s Huang Kaixiang and Wang Zekang 25-23 21-18, while Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy prevailed 21-18 21-14 over China’s Chen Xiaofei and Zhou Chaomin.
The women’s doubles pair of Aparna Balan and Sruthi KP edged out Hong Kong duo of Wing Yung and Yeung Nga Ting 21-19 7-21 21-17, while the men’s doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Shivam Sharma beat compatriots Aniruddha Mayekar and Vinay Kumar Singh 21-15 21-11 in another match.
(With PTI Inputs)