MIXED DOUBLES PAIR OF ASHWINI AND SATWIKSAIRAJ, SAINA STOLE THE SHOW ON THE DAY AS INDIANS REACHED QUARTERFINALS IN THREE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES

File Photo : Ashwini ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankiraddy -- Saina Nehwal
SPORTINGINDIA|02-Aug-2018 19:27

India had a good day at the world championship as it won four of the five matches played and got into the quarterfinals in their respective categories.

Ashwini ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankiraddy stormed into the quarterfinals with a remarkable win over the 7th seeded Malaysian pair of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lie in three close sets 20-22, 21-14, 21-6.The match lasted for 57 minutes. It will be the first quarterfinal appearance as a pair for the Indian duo in the world championship.

In the first set, both pairs fought for each and every point. The Malaysian pair had a three-point advantage going into the interval at 11-8. But the India duo kept on fighting and took a lead at 16-15  and kept it for three more points. Satwik committed a crucial mistake at that moment which gave momentum to the 7th seeded pair. They utilized this and won the set 22-20.

In the second set, both the pairs were neck and neck until the interval where the Indians lead 11-9. From that point, Satwik with his towering smashes and Ashwini with her smart net play started to dominate the set. The pair scored 10 points from that moment while allowing the other pair to score only 5 points. The Indian combination took the second set 21-14.

The Indian pair was full of confidence after winning the second set and took into the decider. In the finalset, the pair from India took an early lead with their aggressive and smart play and continued it till the interval to lead 11-4. After the break, Indian pair started to stamp their authority over the higher ranked opponents and won the set 21-6 to seal the match in their favor. Ashwini was able to guide his young partner with a lot of pep talks during the entire match to keep up the spirit as a pair.

The young and experienced combination are playing their best badminton to reach this stage. The 17-year-old won a lot of points in crucial juncture through his steep smash while Ashwini secured the same with her smashes and smart play at the net. They will be facing the top-seeded pair from China in the last eight stage.

SAINA AND SINDHU PROGRESS FURTHER

10th Seeded Saina Nehwal punched above her weight and won the match against 5th seeded Ratchanok Intanon in straight sets 21-16,21-19. She reached her 8th consecutive quarterfinal in a row at the world championships.  In the first set, she was 5-7 down, after that she won 6 straight points in a row to go into mid-set break 11-7. The player from Thailand tried to launch a comeback but Saina with her down the line smashes won the set 21-16.

 In second set, Saina used her smashes and net play to good effect to have a three-point advantage at the interval 11-8. After that, she was a girl on a mission and dominated her opponent with a variety of strokes to win the set 21-19 and seal the quarterfinal berth. It was a treat to see Saina getting back to her best with her trademark forehand down the line and crosscourt smashes. She will be full of confidence to face Carolina Marin from Spain in the last eight stage.

3rd  seeded Sindhu literally toyed with her opponent and won the match quite easily against the 9th seeded Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea in straight sets 21-10 21-18. Sindhu dominated the first set and won it 21-10 in just 15 minutes.

In the second set, South Korean gave her best and lead Sindhu 10-3, but the Hyderabad girl came back to win the next 5 points and went into interval trailing 8-11 down. After the break, she displayed her class to level the set 13-13 and went onto win the set and match 21-18. Sindhu was at her attacking best throughout the match to stop the Korean from winning any set.

She will face Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the quarterfinals which is a repeat of the 2017 World championship final. This time we can firmly believe that she will win the match and get into the semifinals based on the form she displayed in this championship.

Mixed fortunes for Sai praneeth,Srikanth

Srikanth lost his round of 16 clashes to Daren Liew of Malaysia in straight sets 18-21, 18-21. A lot was expected on the 5th seeded Indian but he failed to deliver on the biggest stage.

Sai Praneeth reached his first quarterfinal of the world championships with a straight set win over the opponent from Denmark 21-13, 21-11 in just 38 minutes. He played a solid level of  badminton on the day to win the match with ease. In the match, Praneeth was good with his defensive and attacking play which derived the opponent any chance he had in the match. All the hopes will be on him to win a medal for India in men’s s singles as he faces a tough opponent in the Kento Momota of Japan in the last eight stage