Syed Modi Badminton | Sindhu survives; Manjunath manages another surprise


H.S. Prannoy, the lone surviving seed in the men’s draw, lost his match.

In spite of playing way below her best, top seed P.V. Sindhu managed to settle a score with Thailand’s all-attacking Supanida Katethong in three games to reach the semifinals but H.S. Prannoy, the lone surviving seed in the men’s draw, was not so lucky in the $150,000 Syed Modi India International badminton on Friday.

In what was seen as the final before the final after Supanida’s stunning victory over Sindhu in the India Open semifinals last week in Delhi, the Indian lived dangerously throughout the 28-minute decider before pulling away to a 11-21, 21-12, 21-17 triumph in 64 minutes.

The speedy 30th-ranked left-handed Thai tested Sindhu’s defensive skills and did not let her unleash aggressive strokes for the better part of the match. Finally, it was Sindhu who broke away from 17-17 in the decider and forced a match-point with a forceful cross-court smash. She closed the match with a powerful forehand down-the-line ‘kill’ from the backhand court.

Sindhu faces fifth seeded Russian Evgenia Kosetskaya for a place in Sunday’s final. From the bottom half where all four quarter-finalists were Indians, Malvika Bansod avenged the loss suffered to Aakarshi Kashyap in the India Open with a 21-11, 21-11 thrashing. Malvika plays Anupama Upadhyay on Saturday.

The men’s quarterfinals saw 121st-ranked Mithun Manjunath upstage 71st-ranked Russian Sergey Sirant 11-21, 21-12, 21-18 after trailing 11-15 in the decider.

With the World No. 24 Prannoy falling to 79th-ranked Frenchman Arnaud Merkely in 19-21, 16-21 after failing to control the streak of unforced errors, Manjunath is the only Indian in the men’s draw. Next, Manjunath clashes with Merkely.

Meanwhile, Indian pairs occupied all semifinal berths in mixed doubles, three in men’s doubles and two in women’s doubles.

The COVID positive count went up with doubles players Apeksha Nayak and Malaysia’s Chen Tang Jie failing the test.

Quarterfinals (Indians unless stated):

Men: Arnaud Merkley (Fra) bt H. S. Prannoy 21-19, 21-16; Mithun Manjunath bt Sergey Sirant (Rus) 11-21, 21-12, 21-18; Nhat Nguyen (Ire) bt Julien Carraggi (Bel) 21-14, 21-14; Lucas Claerbout (Fra) bt Cheam June We (Mas) 21-11, 21-19.

Women: P. V. Sindhu bt Supanida Katethong (Tha) 11-21, 21-12, 21-17; Evgenia Kosetskaya (Rus) bt Tereza Svabikova (Cze) 21-8, 21-14; Anupama Upadhaya bt Samiya Imad Farooqui 24-22, 23-21; Malvika Bansod bt Aakarshi Kashyap 21-11, 21-11.

Men’s doubles: Prem Singh Chouhan & Rajesh Verma bt Astitva Kale & Aniruddha Mayekar 21-17, 21-13; Krishna Prasad & Vishnuvardhan Goud bt Ishan Bhatnagar & Sai Pratheek 21-17, 21-18; M. R. Arjun & Dhruv Kapila bt Fabien Delrue & William Villeger (Fra) 21-16, 19-21, 21-19; Man Wei Chong & Kai Wun Tee (Mas) bt Vladimir Ivanov & Ivan Sozonov (Rus) 21-13, 21-12.

Women’s doubles: H. M. Haritha & Ashna Roy bt Tanishka Deshpande & Shruti Mundada 13-21, 26-24, 21-11; Anna Ching Yik Cheong & Teoh Mei Xing received a walkover from Ramya Venkatesh & Apeksha Nayak; Low Yeen Yuan & Valeree Siow (Mas) bt Vivian Hoo & Lim Chiew Sien (Mas) 17-21, 21-15, 21-19; Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopi Chand bt Anastasiia Akchurina Olga Morozova (Rus) 24-22, 21-10.

Mixed doubles: M. R. Arjun & Treesa Jolly bt William Villeger & Anne Tran (Fra) 24-22, 21-17; Ishan Bhatnagar & Tanisha Crasto bt Ashith Surya & Pranjal Chimulkar 21-13, 21-19; Akshan Shetty & Simran Singhi bt Balkeshari Yadav & Swetaparna Panda 21-15, 22-20; Nagendra Babu & G. Srivedya received a walkover from Chen Tang Jie & Peck Yen Wei (Mas).

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