Sindhu, Srikanth enter World Championship quarterfinals
Glasgow: Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth stood just one step away from grabbing a medal each at the World Badminton Championship after entering the quarterfinals of the singles events on Thursday.
Sindhu, who twice won a bronze medal at the 2013 and 2014 editions, survived a scare against Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan Yi before prevailing 19-21 23-21 21-17 in a thrilling women's singles match that lasted an hour and 27 minutes.
The 22-year-old Indian fought back from 13-16 down in the second game after losing the first to eventually come up trumps. She will face fifth seed Sun Yu of China next.
Srikanth, however, eased into the quarterfinals with yet another straight-game win over Denmark's Anders Antonsen in men's singles.
On a 12-match winning streak, Srikanth knocked out World No. 18 Antonsen 21-14 21-18. The World No. 10 Indian will clash with top seed and World No. 1 Korean Son Wan Ho in the quarterfinals.
"It was a good game. There were some intense rallies and I am happy for the win," Srikanth said. Srikanth, who finished at the pre-quarterfinals in the last two editions, has a 4-4 head-to-head record against Son, whom he has beaten twice this year en route to his titles at Indonesia and Australia in June.
"It will be a tough match but I have been improving with each match and looking forward for a good game tomorrow(on Friday)," Srikanth added. India's top mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy, seeded 15th, played their heart out before going down 22-20 18-21 18-21 to Indonesian World Number 6 duo of Debby Susanto and Praveen Jordan.
Srikanth and Antonsen split the initial six points before the Indian surged ahead with a five-point burst to grab a 11-8 lead at the break.
The Denmark shuttler reduced the gap to 11-13 but Srikanth changed gears to produce another five-point burst to zoom ahead. The Indian eventually closed out the opening game without much ado.
Nothing much changed in the second game as Srikanth took a 11-3 lead but Anders came back strongly to reel off six points on the trot to reduce the margin to 9-11.
Srikanth continued to move ahead to open up a 20-15 lead. Antonsen saved three matches points before the Indian sealed the issue in his favour. Despite coming into the women's singles match with a 3-0 head-to-head record, Sindhu found the going tough against her World No. 17 opponent, who held a slender 11-9 lead at the break.
After the interval, Sindhu clawed back with two points but the duel between the two became more fierce as they moved neck and neck till 19-19 when the Hong Kong girl moved ahead to earn the bragging rights.
Jolted by the first game reversal, Sindhu opened up a 4-0 lead but Cheung drew parity at 9-9 before grabbing an 11-10 advantage at the interval. The Hong Kong girl then moved to a 16-13 lead.
Sindhu rises one spot, Srikanth slips in latest BWF ranking
New Delhi: Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu moved up a spot, while Kidambi Srikanth slipped two places in the latest BWF World ranking released on Thursday. The 22-year-old Sindhu reached the World No. 4 spot, while Srikanth was placed at 10. Women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy rose a place to be placed at 24th spot, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy were static at the 20th place. Among other Indians, Saina Nehwal (16th), B Sai Praneeth (19th), H S Prannoy (15th) and Ajay Jayaram (17th) remained static in their respective positions.
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