Yesterday was a good day for India at the ongoing BWF World Championships as the likes of Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, and B. Sai Praneeth all moved into the pre quarters. However, the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy put up a valiant fight before bowing out.
Saina Nehwal got her campaign off to a perfect start with a quick 21-11,21-12 win over Swiss Sabrina Jaquet. The result also helped Nehwal set up an eagerly awaited third round clash against second seed Sung Ji Hyun. The Indian had emerged victorious over the South Korean the last time these two met at the Australian Open in June.
Meanwhile, in the men’s section, Kidambi Srikanth continued his imperious form as he waltzed past Frenchman Lucas Corvee to register his 12th consecutive win. The eight seeded Indian took the first game 21-9 and then held off a late comeback from Corvee in the second game with the final score at 21-17 in Srikanth’s favor. The Indonesian and Australian Open Champion next faces 14th seeded Dane Anders Antonsen for a place in the last eight.
Ajay Jayaram followed in the footsteps of his compatriot and secured an equally impressive 21-13, 21-18 win over Dutchman Mark Caljouw. However, the Indian No.2 is set to face a sterner test when he faces off against fifth seed and two-time defending champion Chen Long of China.
But despite the efforts of all the above mentioned Indian players, the headlines of the day were made by B. Sai Praneeth, who staged an incredible comeback against Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. Praneeth got off to the worst possible start in the first game as he trailed 0-8 at one stage. However, he managed to come back strong and level the match at one game apiece. In the decider too, the Indian once again trailed 12-18 and seemed destined to be heading for the exit door. However, Praneeth once again managed an incredible comeback by engaging his opponent in long rallies, before he closed the game out at 14-21, 21-18, 21-19 in his favor. The 15th seeded Indian will next take on sixth seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
However, it wasn’t all good news for the Indian contingent as Sameer Verma bowed out of the Championships after a 20-22, 9-21 loss to Englishman Rajiv Ouseph. In the women’s doubles section too, the No.1 Indian women’s pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy put in a courageous display against the second seeded Danish duo of Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen before going down 22-24, 21-17, 15-21 in an hour and 13 minutes.