World Badminton Championships 2017: PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth advance as singles remains key medal hope for India
After Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma, Tanvi Lad and Rituparna Das on Monday, PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram ensured the entire singles challenge stayed alive.
Glasgow: Singles continues to be the beacon of challenge for the Indians as each of the seven players seen in action so far have advanced to the second round of the World Badminton Championships at the Emirates Arena on Tuesday. Not all of them will be expected to progress much further; however, it is in the singles events that India have maximum medal hopes.
In the men’s section, B Sai Praneeth, one of the in-form stars this season, having won a Super Series event, and Ajay Jayaram recorded straight-game wins, as did two-time World Championships bronze medallist, PV Sindhu, who made short work of Kim Hyo Min of Korea. Only Saina Nehwal, the 2015 runner-up, has yet to play a match and she will meet Sabrina Jaquet on Wednesday.
Things meanwhile were not so hunky-dory in doubles, where just one pair out of three remained in mixed but there were none left in men’s doubles. However, in the women's event, two of the three pairs were still around.
In women’s doubles Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy beat Anna Cheong and Ririn Amelia 21-15, 21-13 a day after Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil made it to the second round on Monday. Late on Tuesday, J Meghana and S Ram Poorvaisha lost to Dutch pair, Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek 21-13, 16-21, 8-21.
In mixed doubles the only pair to advance was Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy, winners of the Syed Modi International, who beat the Indian-Malaysian pair of Yogendran Khrishnan (Mas) and Prajakta Sawant (Ind) 21-12, 21-19.
Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy lost 17-21, 21-18, 5-21 to China’s Yilyu Wang and Dongping Huang and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Maneesha K went down 20-22, 18-21 to Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygesen of Denmark.
India’s challenge in men’s doubles was wiped out as all three pairs have exited, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy had already lost on Monday, and on Tuesday Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were put out by Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe 8-21, 12-21. Late in the evening Shlok Ramachandram and MR Arjun bowed out in three games 14-21, 21-19, 14-21 to Taipei’s Liao Min Chun and Cheng Heng Su.
After Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma, Tanvi Lad and Rituparna Das (her opponent Airi Mikkela retired after two points) on Monday, PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram ensured the entire singles challenge stayed alive.
Sindhu, seeded fourth, has made it clear that she wants to improve the colour of the medal from bronze at 2013 and 2014 World Championships to something better. She was in total control of her match against Korean Kim Hyo Min, to whom she lost a year ago. Sindhu, who had also beaten Kim three times before that, won 21-16, 21-14 in 49 minutes.
Sindhu made her opponent run around in long rallies and had the Korean catching her breath. “I could see she was tired by the end. She was playing long rallies and I was okay with it. I last played her a year ago, so I knew her game," said the Hyderabadi shuttler.
On whether she was happy with long rallies that allowed her to settle into the Championships and also tire the Korean, she smiled and said, “That was not my idea. I still wanted to finish fast.”
Sindhu meets the winner of Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi and Russian Evgeniya Kosetskaya.
Praneeth, 15th seed, beat Hong Kong’s Wei Nan 21-18, 21-17 in 48 minutes, though he did admit being confused during the game. “But I recovered and was then fine. Then when he began to attack, it was what I wanted and he made errors,” said Praneeth, who himself likes the attacking game.
They were both close games, but Praneeth held a slight edge. After 13-all and 18-all he closed with three consecutive points.
In the second game, Praneeth led 7-5 but Wei rallied to 17-all. Praneeth once again collected points in a heap, winning four in a row to close the match. He now meets Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the second round.
Jayaram moved past Austrian Luka Wraber 21-14 21-12 in 31 minutes and will meet Dutchman Mark Caljouw next.
India results: Day 2
Men’s singles: Round 1: B Sai Praneeth bt Wei Nan (Chn) 21-18; 21-17; Ajay Jayaram bt Luka Wrabber 21-14, 212
Women’s Singles: Round 1: PV Sindhu bt Kim Hyo Min (Kor) 21-16, 21-14
Men’s Doubles: Round 1: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy / Chirag Shetty lost to Hiroyuki Endo/ Yuta Watanabe 8-21, 12-21; Shlok Ramachandram and MR Arjun lost to Taipei’s Liao Min Chun and Cheng Heng Su 14-21, 21-19, 14-21.
Women’s doubles: Round 1: Ashwini Ponnappa/ N Sikki Reddy beat Anna Cheong and Ririn Amelia 21-15, 21-13; J Meghana/ S Ram Poorvaisha lost to Eefje Muskens/ Selena Piek (Ned) 21-13, 16-21, 8-21.
Mixed doubles: Round 1: Pranaav Jerry Chopra/N Sikki Reddy bt Yogendran Khrishnan (Mas)/Prajakta Sawant (Ind) 21-12, 21-19; Ashwini Ponnappa/B Sumeeth Reddy lose 17-21, 21-18, 5-21 to Yilyu Wang / Dongping Huang (Chn); Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Maneesha K lose 20-22, 18-21 to Mathias Christiansen/Sara Thygesen (Den)
Sindhu is one of the favourites for the gold, especially in the absence of defending champion Carolina Marin, who missed the Games due to an injury.
Sindhu added she used the break to learn more and focus on her technique and skills.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: PV Sindhu has improved on her defence, worked on motion skills, says India coach Park Tae-sang
Park also addded that Tai Tzu-ying would be Sindhu's biggest rival at the Olympics.