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Syed Modi badminton | Srikanth and Saurabh advance

Marching on: K. Srikanth stood strong on a disappointing day for the Indian camp.

Marching on: K. Srikanth stood strong on a disappointing day for the Indian camp.   | Photo Credit: MOHD RASFAN

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Shruti, Rituparna bring some cheer as Indians make a beeline for the exit

The lack of polished talent across sections of Indian badminton continues to be a concern. The evidence of the country’s empty cupboard was evident in the ordinary display against a none-too-formidable overseas presence in the $150,000 Syed Modi International badminton tournament here.

Seven of eight losing men’s pre-quarterfinalists were Indians. They included fourth seed B. Sai Praneeth, H.S. Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram and Lakshya Sen.

Eventually, third seed K. Srikanth and Saurabh Verma advanced after beating compatriots P. Kashyap and Alap Mishra.

In women’s singles, where two Indian qualifiers face-off for a place in the semifinals, 200th-ranked Shruti Mundada provided the bright spot by beating 46th-ranked Belgian Lianne Tan. Shruti’s next rival Rituparna Das made it past Tanvi Lad.

In women’s doubles, disappointment followed when eighth-seeded Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy withdrew when trailing 0-2 in their pre-quarterfinals against England’s Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith. A calf-injury Ashwini suffered during the first-round match prompted the pull-out.

The winners of two all-Indian pre-quarterfinals — Simran Singh & Ritika Thaker and Kuhoo Garg & Anoushka Parikh — advanced.

Meanwhile, the home presence in men’s doubles and mixed doubles ended.

In mixed doubles, experienced Pranav Chopra and Sikki Reddy exited along with four other Indian pairs.

Before Olympic champion Carolina Marin won in three games, Srikanth was stretched by Kashyap, who rallied from 8-14 to snatch the first game.

Ajay Jayaram’s experience did not help as he squandered a 13-4 lead, besides eight match-points, during the loss to the sixth strongest Chinese, Zhao Junpen 21-18, 14-21, 30-28.

Sai Praneeth surrendered to unseeded Thai Kunlavat Vitidsarn in straight games, as did young Lakshya Sen against former World No. 1 Son Wan Ho, who next faces Srikanth.

H.S. Prannoy joined the procession despite winning the first game against Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei.

Important results (second round):

Men: Sourabh Verma bt Alap Mishra 21-11, 21-18; K. Srikanth bt P. Kashyap 18-21, 22-20, 21-16; Son Wan Ho (Kor) bt Lakshya Sen 21-14, 21-17; Kunlavat Vitidsarn (Tha) bt B. Sai Praneeth 21-11, 21-17; Zhao Junpen (Chn) bt Ajay Jayaram 21-18, 14-21, 30-28; Wang Tzu Wei (Tpe) bt H.S. Prannoy 14-21, 21-10, 21-14.

Women: Rituparna Das bt Tanvi Lad 21-16, 21-13; Kim Hyo Min bt Ashmita Chaliha 21-12, 21-16; Carolina Marin (Esp) bt Sim Yu Jin (Kor) 19-21, 21-13, 21-11; Shruti Mundada bt Lianne Tan (Bel) 21-18, 21-14. Doubles: Simran Singh & Ritika Thaker bt Riya Mookerjee & Anura Prabhudesai 21-13, 18-21, 21-17; Chloe Birch & Lauren Smith bt Ashwini Ponnappa & N. Sikki Reddy 2-0 (retd.); Kuhoo Garg & Anoushka Parikhi bt Sheshadri Sanyal & Lavanya Sharma 21-12, 21-10.

Mixed doubles: Marvin Seidel & Linda Efler (Ger) bt Pranaav Chopra & Sikki Reddy 21-12, 18-21, 21-13.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:47:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/syed-modi-badminton-srikanth-and-saurabh-advance/article30109250.ece

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