All England Championships: Lakshya enters maiden quarters, Sindhu too joins in mixed day for India

Lakshya Sen progressed to his maiden quarterfinals at the All England Championships but it was curtains for compatriot H.S. Prannoy.

File picture of Lakshya Sen.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Lakshya Sen on Thursday became the youngest Indian male shuttler to reach the All England Championship quarterfinals, where Olympic silver medallist P. V. Sindhu joined him with an easy win at the Super 1000 tournament here.

Sindhu, the reigning world champion, recorded a dominant 21-8, 21-8 win over Denmark's Line Christophersen in a completely lop-sided second-round match.

Earlier, the 19-year-old Lakshya from Almora, who had claimed five titles in 2019, saw off France's Thomas Rouxel 21-18, 21-16 to make it to his maiden quarterfinals.

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However, it was curtains for H.S. Prannoy and B. Sai Praneeth after the duo went down in the men's singles second round on Thursday.

Lakshya, who had claimed the Asian Junior Championships title, the World Junior championships bronze and Youth Olympics Games silver in 2018, will next face Netherland's world no 36 Mark Caljouw.

Sindhu will take on Japan's third seed Akane Yamaguchi.

In the men's singles, Prannoy, a former top 10 player couldn't find his way across world number 1 Kento Momota, the Japanese playing his first event since a horrific accident that saw him undergo an eye surgery last year.

The Indian lost 15-21, 14-21 in a 48-minute match to bow out of the competition.

Olympic hopeful Praneeth then squandered a first-game advantage, losing 21-15, 12-21, 12-21 to second seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Also ousted from the tournament was the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, who lost 19-21, 9-21 to Japanese duo of Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo in the opening round.

Sindhu came out will all cylinders blazing, zooming into the interval with a massive 10-point lead at 11-1 in just 4 minutes. The Indian then moved to 16-4 and soon sealed the opening game without much effort.

In the second game, Sindhu opened up a 6-4 lead before entering the break with a seven-point advantage.

The Indian conceded three points after the interval before reeling off the remaining 10 points as Line could just watch at the other end.

On Wednesday night, Prannoy along with Lakshya, Olympic hopeful B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma had entered the second round but former world number one Saina Nehwal was forced to concede her opening women’s singles match after suffering an injury.

READ| All England Championships: Saina retires due to injury, four Indians enter second round

Saina, who finished second best here in 2015, looked in considerable, troubled by her right thigh. She decided to retire after lagging behind (8-21 4-10) in her opening round match against seventh seed Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark.

In the men’s singles, world number 15 Praneeth had beaten France's Toma Junior Popov 21-18 22-20, while Prannoy brushed aside Malaysia’s Daren Liew 21-10 21-10.

Sameer outlasted Brazil’s Ygor Coelho 21-11, 21-19, while Lakshya had stunned Thailand’s world No. 18 Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-18, 21-12.

In the mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy went down 15-21, 17-21 to Denmark’s Rasmus Espersen and Christine Busch in the opening round.

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