Syed Modi International: Sindhu enters quarterfinals; Priyanshu runs Prannoy close

Sindhu defeated Malaysia’s Lauren Lam 21-16, 21-13 in 33 minutes to set up a clash with sixth seeded Thai Supanida Katethong.

Sindhu will take on sixth-seeded Thai shuttler Supanida Katethong in the last-eight stage.   -  PTI

H. S. Prannoy just about survived a serious threat from Priyanshu Rajawat in the men’s pre-quarterfinals after P. V. Sindhu stormed into the women’s last-eight stage of the $150,000 Syed Modi India International badminton tournament here on Thursday.

On a day when out of 15 matches featuring Indians taking on overseas rivals, only three produced home winners, Prannoy and Sindhu won in contrasting manners.

Priyanshu, ranked 127, raised visions of making the men’s quarterfinals without a single seeded player when he led 16-13 in the decider. In fact, he led until 18-17 before Prannoy, ranked 24th, reeled off four straight points to end the 64-minute contest.

Mithun Manjunath was the only other Indian to match Prannoy’s efforts. Mithun, ranked 121, saved two match-points to outlast 65th ranked Malaysian Soong Joo Ven 16-21, 21-16, 23-21 in 80 minutes.

Mithun enjoyed better exchanges in the first game by leading 8-3 until 14-13 before Soong broke away. In the second, Mithun led from the start and won it with ease. In the decider, Mithun was comfortably ahead at 19-15 before Soong hit back strongly to force match-points at 20-19 and 21-20, But credit to Mithun for holding his nerves and winning the final three points.

There are no Indians in the bottom half of the draw. If Prannoy and Mithun emerge victorious on Friday, they will clash in the semifinals.

READ| Syed Modi International: Sindhu advances with ease; Covid cases force more withdrawal

In contrast, all women singles quarterfinalists from the bottom half of the draw are Indians while Sindhu is the only home interest left in the top half.

Sindhu defeated Malaysia’s Lauren Lam 21-16, 21-13 in 33 minutes to set up a clash with sixth seeded Thai Supanida Katethong, a 21-11, 21-7 winner over Kriti Bharadwaj. Having lost to Supanida last week in the India Open, Sindhu will be looking to settle a score.

Similarly, Malvika Bansod will be eyeing revenge when she takes on favourite Aakarshi Kashyap. In the India Open, Aakarshi blanked Malvika in straight games. The other quarterfinals, featuring Indians, is between Anupama Upadhyaya and Samiya Imad Farooqui.

Meanwhile, Covid positive cases sent out three Indian pairs. After Malaysia’s doubles player Valeree Siow complained of vertigo and pulled out, Venkat Gaurav Prasad tested positive to be out of men’s doubles (with Ayush Makhija) and mixed doubles (with Juhi Dewangan).

Vighnesh Devlekar also tested positive and withdrew from men’s doubles partner Deep Rambhiya.

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