Thailand Open Super 1000: Sameer Verma, Satwik-Ponnappa sail into quarters; Anthony Ginting ousted in shock defeat

Sameer Verma will next face third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark, who received a walkover, in the quarter-finals.

FP Sports January 21, 2021 12:37:48 IST
Thailand Open Super 1000: Sameer Verma, Satwik-Ponnappa sail into quarters; Anthony Ginting ousted in shock defeat

File image of Sameer Verma. Reuters

Bangkok: India's Sameer Verma continued his impressive run at the Toyota Thailand Open Super 1000 tournament, stunning World No 17 Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in a second round match to advance to the men's singles quarter-finals on Thursday.

The World No 31 Indian, who had shocked Malaysia's eighth seed Lee Zii Jia in the opening round, needed just 39 minutes to see off Gemke 21-12 21-9.

This was Sameer's third victory over Gemke. The Indian had defeated the world no 17 Danish shuttler in their previous two clashes.

Sameer will face third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark, who received a walkover, in the quarter-finals.

"I was very confident before the match. I came prepared. Next up I have Anders Antonsen from Denmark. I'm feeling very confident, so let's see. It will be tough but I will play my best," Sameer said.

The mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also made it to the quarter-finals with a stunning 22-20, 14-21, 21-16, win over World No 17 German duo of Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich in a match that lasted close to an hour.

HS Prannoy, however, failed to cross the second hurdle, going down 17-21, 18-21 to Malaysia's Daren Liew, a day after battling through pain to upstage Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie in a gruelling three-game match.

Earlier, Gemke was no match for Sameer, who showed better control and execution to dominate the proceedings right from the word go.

The Indian opened up a 3-0 lead and kept marching ahead to grab a six-point advantage at the break.

Gemke tried his best but couldn't trouble Sameer, who easily claimed the first game.

In the second game, Gemke managed to hold slender leads of 3-1 and 5-3 but Sameer broke off at 6-6 and never looked back.

Indonesian fifth seed Anthony Ginting suffered an unexpected defeat to Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk-yiu, who moved into the quarter-finals with a 21-19, 13-21, 21-12 win.

Ginting was Indonesia's last remaining hope after Jonatan Christie's exit on Wednesday, but despite a fightback in the second game, the 20th-ranked Lee was able to close out the match.

"He played better than me," admitted Ginting, 24. "When I tried to come back, Lee knew — he's smart and he was in control."

It was Ginting's second loss to Lee, who upset the Indonesian in the final of the 2019 Hong Kong Open.

"I had beaten him in the Hong Kong Open final, so maybe I was a bit more comfortable against him," Lee said.

He will face off against Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who beat Ginting's teammate Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 21-11, 15-21, 17-21.

Thai star Ratchanok Intanon won a hard-fought nail-biter against South Korean Sung Ji-hyun, ranked 15th in the world, who sent the former world number one crisscrossing the court during extended rallies in her 19-21, 24-22, 21-17 win.

Meeting Ratchanok in the quarter-finals will be Indian star PV Sindhu, who disposed of Malaysia's Kisona Selvaduray in a rapid 21-10, 21-12 dusting — eager to erase the memory of a surprise first-round exit a week earlier in Bangkok.

"We all win and lose, so I took last week in a really positive way and came in much stronger this week," sixth seed Sindhu said.

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen continued his quest for back-to-back titles as he dominated Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-11, 21-13.

"He's an upcoming player that I respect a lot so I had to come with quite a high pace," said Axelsen.

The fourth-ranked Dane won last week's first of two consecutive Thailand Opens and will go up against Malaysian Darren Liew, ranked 41st in the world, in the quarter-finals.

With inputs from PTI and AFP.

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