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India Open | Satwik-Chirag pair progresses

Turning it around: Satwik and Chirag survived a blip in the second game to prevail over Chih-Lee and Lee.
| Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

 The proceedings in the India Open badminton are following a predictable script. Barring second seeds Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, none of the home-grown talent on view survived the second day of the competition here.

The Chirag-Satwik duo, too, dealt with some anxious moments in the early stages of the decider before regaining control for a 21-15, 19-21, 21-16 triumph over Chinese Taipei’s Fang Chih-Lee and Fang-Jen Lee. This was a second win for the Indians over their rivals to go with the triumph in the 2023 Swiss Open.

However, there was disappointment for Indians in all other matches. Former World No. 1 K. Srikanth, now ranked 25th, raised visions of an encouraging result but bowed to Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu for the third straight time in four encounters. During the 47-minute match that Lee Cheuk Yiu won 24-22, 21-13, Srikanth saved three game points in the opener, squandered a game-point before his rival converted his fifth game-point.

In the second, Srikanth bridged a 3-12 deficit to 13-17 but couldn’t do better. A very high percentage of unforced errors from the Indian made things easy for the World No. 18.

The home challenge in women’s singles and doubles ended. World No. 20 Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto battled hard to test World No. 10 Thai pair Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai for 63 minutes but the result appeared a foregone conclusion much before the final point. The Thai pair won 21-5, 18-21, 21-11, outplaying the Indians in the first and third games by building healthy leads.

Aakarshi Kashyap, , a last-minute entry due to the late withdrawals, the only Indian in the women’s draw, ran into second-seeded China’s Chen Yufie who took just 32 minutes for a 21-10, 21-9 win.

Other results (first round, involving Indians): Men: Takuma Obayashi (Jpn) bt Sathish Kumar Karunakaran 22-20, 21-16; Doubles: Kenya Mitsuhashi & Hiroki Okamura (Jpn) bt Krishna Prasad & Sai Pratheek 21-14, 21-11.

Women: Doubles: Kim So Yeong & Kong Hee Yong (Kor) bt Ashwini Bhat & Shikha Gautam 21-12, 21-3.

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