PBL: Awadhe Warriors downs Pune 7 Aces

Carolina Marin and Lakshya Sen won the singles matches, but Mathias Christiansen/Ashwini Ponnappa beat Vladimir Ivanov/Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt in the deciding mixed doubles match as Awadhe Warriors won 4-3 against Pune 7 Aces.

Carolina Marin exults after defeating Beiwen Zhang.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Asian junior champion Lakshya Sen brushed aside South Korea's Dong Keun Lee 15-11, 15-8 while reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin beat Beiwen Zhang 15-13, 15-9 to draw Pune 7 Aces level on 3-3 against Awadhe Warriors.

However, it was enough for the host as Mathias Christiansen and Ashwini Ponappa beat Vladimir Ivanov and Line Kjaersfeldt 15-8, 11-15, 15-12 in the deciding mixed doubles match to give a 4-3 victory for Awadhe Warriors at the National Sports Club of India, Mumbai on Monday.

As it Happened

After Satwiksairaj Reddy starred in two doubles wins for Ahmedabad Smash Masters on day two, another 18-year old Lakshya demonstrated an enhanced level of all-round game to snuff out the Dong Keun Lee.

“Lakshya was in control throughout. I had told him before the match about the need to fight for every point,” said Pune's icon player Carolina Marin.


Lakshya Sen defeated South Korea's Dong Keun Lee.   -  VIVEK BENDRE


In the first Trump match, former World No. 1 Son Wan Ho, dominated the game against Brice Leverdez to win the opening singles match 15-14, 15-7 to give Awadhe the initial boost.

For the men's doubles match, Pune chose a left-right combination of Russian Vladimir Ivanov and Dane Mathias Boe against Awadhe's duo of Yang Lee (Taiwan) and Mathias Christiansen (Denmark).

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Ivanov-Boe fought valiantly, but went down 12-15,14-15 after being unable to counter Lee's defensive game coupled with Christiansen's smashes.

In the second Trump game of the day, Carolina made it 3-3 for Pune with a 15-13, 15-9 victory over USA's Beiwen Zhang.

In the deciding mixed doubles match, Pune's pair of Validmir Ivanov and Line Kjaersfeldt came back strongly in the second game after losing the first game 15-8 to Mathias Christiansen and Ashwini Ponnappa.

After winning the second game 15-11, the Russia-Denmark pair committed multiple unforced errors as Christiansen/Ponnappa took the third game 15-12 to win the tie for Awadhe Warriors.

The two singles matches wins lifted Pune 7 Aces from the bottom of the table to fifth on 2 points with Awadhe Warriors just above in the fourth with 4 points.

Results

Awadhe Warriors bt Pune 7 Aces 4-3 (MS: TM-Son Wan Ho bt Brice Leverdez 15-14, 15-7; MD: Yang Lee & Mathias Christiansen bt Vladimir Ivanov & Mathias Boe 15-12, 15-14; WS: Beiwen Zhang lost to Carolina Marin-TM 13-15, 9-15; MS: Dong Keun Lee lost to Lakshya Sen 11-15, 8-15; XD: Mathias Christiansen & Ashwini Ponnappa bt Vladimir Ivanov & Line Kjaersfeldt 8-15, 15-11, 15-12).