Sindhu, Prannoy into quarterfinals of India Open; Saina crashes out

P. V. Sindhu beats compatriot Ira Sharma 21-10, 21-10 in the second round while Saina Nehwal lost to Malvika Bansod.

P. V. Sindhu took 30 minutes to defeat her opponent. - BAI

Making the most of Saina Nehwal’s lack of fitness, coupled with errors in plenty, 20-year-old Malvika Bansod pulled off a not-so-unexpected 21-17, 21-9 victory to be the talking point on the third day of $400,000 India Open badminton here on Thursday.

On a day dominated by the news of seven Indians testing positive for Covid, Malvika hogged the limelight by taking out the former champion, seeded four. Malvika faces Aakarshi Kashyap next for a place in the semifinal.

With top seed P. V. Sindhu taking on upcoming youngster Ashmita Chahila, the host ensured two singles semifinalists. Sindhu cruised past Ira Sharma and Ashmita, ranked 84th, did not let 71st-ranked French girl Yaelle Hoyaux make much of an impression during the 21-17, 21-14 drubbing.

Earlier, the seventh-ranked Indian woman in the game, Malvika did enough for Saina to err repeatedly. Saina, returning to action after nursing a knee-injury, struggled to cover the court adequately.

READ - Srikanth, Ashwini, five others withdraw from India Open after testing positive for COVID-19

Facing a rally-player like Malvika, Saina could execute the strokes well but errors flowed from her racquet as the match progressed.

Among the men, after Srikanth’s withdrawal, Indian survivors third seed Lakshya Sen and eighth seed H. S. Prannoy will clash in Friday’s quarterfinals.

In doubles, second seed Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stayed on course for a place in the final. The duo had it easy against Shyam Prasad and S. Sunjith (Jr.).

Two out of the four beneficiaries of walkovers in women's doubles pre-quarterfinals, Rudrani Jaiswal and Jamaludden Anees Kowsar play fellow unseeded pair of Harshitha Manazhiyil Harinarayanan and Ashna Roy.

Positive Covid tests resulted in three walkovers in the mixed doubles. For the host, the forced withdrawal of second seed Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy was a big setback.

Important pre-quarterfinal results (Indians unless stated):

Men: Kim Braun (Den) received a walkover from K. Srikanth; Brian Yang (Can) bt Sameer Verma 4-2 (retd.); Loh Kean Yew (Sgp) bt Soong Joo Ven (Mas) 21-12, 21-12; H. S. Prannoy received a walkover from Mithun Manjunath; Lakshya Sen bt Felex Burestedt (Swe) 21-12, 21-15; (Doubles): Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Bhaskar Chakraborty and Kapil Chaudhary 21-17, 21-9; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty bt Shyam Prasad and S. Sunjith (Jr.) 21-9, 21-18.

Women: P. V. Sindhu bt Ira Sharma 21-10, 21-10; Ashmita Chaliha bt Yaelle Hoyaux (Fra) 21-17, 21-14; Yeo Jia Min (Sgp) bt Anupama Upadhyaya 13-21, 21-7, 21-12; Aakarshi Kashyap bt Keyura Mopati 21-10, 21-10; Malvika Bansod bt Saina Nehwal 21-17, 21-9; Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) bt Maria Ulitina (Ukr) 21-9, 21-13; (Doubles): Ekaterina Malkova & Anastasiia Shapovalova (Rus) received a walkover from Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy.

Mixed doubles: Konstantin Abramov & Anastasiia Akchurina (Rus) received a walkover from Dhruv Kapila and Sikki Reddy.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :