Syed Modi International: Srikanth, Sourabh enter quarterfinals; Lakshya bows out

Former champion Kidambi Srikanth and Sourabh Verma advanced to the quarterfinals but Lakshya Sen bowed out of the Syed Modi International Badminton tournament.

Third seed Srikanth, who lifted the title in 2016, eked out a thrilling 18-21, 22-20, 21-16 win over compatriot Parupalli Kashyap.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The inadequacy of polished talent across sections of Indian badminton continues to be a concern.

The evidence of country’s empty cupboard was for everyone to see in the face of some ordinary home display against a none-too-formidable overseas presence in the $150,000 Syed Modi International badminton
tournament here. Seven out of eight losing men pre-quarterfinalists were Indians. The list included fourth seed B. Sai Praneeth, H. S. Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram and Lakshya Sen. Eventually, third seed K. Srikanth and Sourabh Verma advanced after beating compatriots P. Kashyap and Alap Mishra.

In women singles, two Indian qualifiers will 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 opponent Rituparna Das made it past Tanvi Lad.

READ| Srikanth pulls out of PBL to focus on international events

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

The winners of two all-India pre-quarterfinals - Simran Singh and Ritika Thaker besides Kuhoo Garg and Anoushka Parikh - advanced.

The home presence in men 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 and eight match-points during the 21-18, 14-21, 30-28 loss to sixth seed Chinese Zhao Junpen.

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.

Leading second-round results (Indians unless stated):

Men singles:

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 singles:

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.

Women doubles:

Simran Singh and Ritika Thaker bt Riya Mookerjee and Anura Prabhudesai 21-13, 18-21, 21-17;

Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith bt Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy 2-0 (retd.);

Kuhoo Garg and Anoushka Parikhi bt Sheshadri Sanyal and Lavanya Sharma 21-12, 21-10.

Mixed doubles:

Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler (Ger) bt Pranaav Chopra and Sikki Reddy 21-12, 18-21, 21-13.