Indonesia Masters: HS Prannoy stuns Tokyo Olympics gold-medallist Victor Axelsen; Sindhu, Srikanth too register wins


Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy registered similar come-from-behind victories in their respective events to advance to the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Thursday.

The highlight of the day was Prannoy’s stunning 14-21 21-19 21-16 upset victory over Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Victor Axelsen in a tense one hour 11 minutes battle in the men’s singles second round.

Down and out in the first game, Prannoy made a sensational recovery to first level the match and then eke out a memorable win against the world no 2. This was Prannoy’s first victory in six attempts against Axelsen. With the win, the world no. 32 Indian shuttler becomes the first player to beat the Dane in full a match since March.

In the women’s singles, reining wold champion Sindhu, who is seeded third, took 47 minutes to record a 17-21 21-7 21-12 win over Spain’s Clara Azurmendi. Playing against the world no. 47 Azurmendi for the first time, Sindhu went down in the first game before putting up a dominant performance in the next two games to register a brilliant victory.

The two-time Olympic medallist will now lock horns with world no 30 unseeded Turkish shuttler Neslihan Yigit in the quarterfinals. Sindhu has a 3-0 head-to-head record against the Turkish.

On the other hand, former world no. 1 Srikanth, dispatched Indonesia’s sixth seed, Jonatan Christie, 13-21 21-18 21-15 in one hour two minutes in the men’s singles second round fixture.

The unseeded Srikanth, who had claimed the Indonesia Open Super Series premier in 2017 at Jakarta, will take on Prannoy in the quarterfinals. However, it was curtains for young Lakshya Sen the men’s singles event and the mixed doubles pairing of Dhruv Kapila and N Sikki Reddy.

The 20-year-old Lakshya, who had reached the semi-finals at Hylo Open Super 500 and final of Dutch Open recently, went down 13-21 19-21 to the top seed and two-time world champion Kento Momota of Japan in a 46-minute clash.

Kapila and Sikki, on the other hand, lost a hard-fought 15-21 23-21 18-21 battle to the Thai duo of Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran in the second round mixed doubles match.

Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy also crashed out of the event in the second round third seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 18-21 12-21.

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Sagar Biswas

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