Badminton: Kashyap and Sindhu move into the semifinals
Losing steam near the finish line, Tommy Sugiarto used every trick in the book to frustrate R.M.V. Gurusaidutt. The third-seeded Indonesian summoned medical help, opted delaying tactics and earned a red card before being docked a point.
Eventually, these unusual on-court happenings combined to break Gurusaidutt’s rhythm and paved the way for Sugiarto’s entry into the semifinals of the $120,000 Syed Modi Grand Prix gold badminton championship here on Friday.
After posting a 19-21, 22-20, 21-16 triumph in 92 minutes, Sugiarto planted himself on the forecourt and offered to shake Gurusaidutt’s hand from under the net. The 22-year-old Indian, understandably done in by Sugiarto’s gamesmanship, almost rapped the Indonesian’s hand after the painful defeat.
Strangely, Sugiarto needed a helping hand from Australian referee Jane Wheatley to get up and leave the court, with a smile, after his second victory in as many meetings with Gurusaidutt since 2009.
A day after India’s challenge ended in doubles, second seeds P. Kashyap and P.V. Sindhu marked the host’s presence in the singles semifinals with contrasting victories. Youngsters H.S. Prannoy and K. Srikanth lost to higher-ranked rivals before Gurusaidutt, ranked 39th in the world, suffered an agonising defeat.
Gurusaidutt, who won the Tata Open title in Mumbai before arriving here, admitted to being unaware of the rules. “I don’t know how much time is allowed for a player between points.
“After being on the court for around 80 minutes, both of us were tired. But, he started wasting time and I did not know what to do. I wanted to prolong the rallies but could not. He wanted to finish the rally quickly and hurried me up.
“Since the shuttles are very fast (in this arena), I had to play to his pace. I could not find my rhythm again and lost.
“This kind of defeat surely hurts. But I am going to look at the positives from this tournament.” said Gurusaidutt, aiming to break into the top-20 of the world and represent the country in the world championship in August.
Sindhu produced yet another dominating performance in getting past Indonesia’s Febby Angguni, ranked 144. Considered the country’s biggest hope after Saina Nehwal, the world No. 24 Sindhu needed just 37 minutes to pack off the recent Tata Open finalist 21-13, 21-17.
Kashyap, performing far below the level expected from a player ranked 20th in the world, set up a meeting with Sugiarto after battling to a 23-21, 8-21, 21-16 victory against world No. 90 Malaysia’s Soon Huat Goh.
The conqueror of former National champion Saurabh Verma in the first round, Goh levelled the match and was leading 14-13 in the decider before Kashyap got his act together.
The results (quarterfinals):
Men: Alamsyah Yunus (Ina) bt H.S. Prannoy 18-21, 21-10, 21-12; Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) bt K. Srikanth 21-16, 21-12; Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) bt R.M.V. Gurusaidutt 19-21, 22-20, 21-16; P. Kashyap bt Soon Huat Goh (Mas) 23-21, 8-21, 21-16.
Women: Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) bt Sannatasah Saniru (Mas) 21-17, 21-12; Lindaweni Fanetri (Ina) bt Nichaon Jindapon (Tha) 21-15, 10-21, 21-12; Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Aprilla Yuswandari (Ina) 21-16, 21-11; P.V. Sindhu bt Febby Angguni (Ina) 21-13, 21-17.
Keywords: Syed Modi Grand Prix