Badminton, Swiss Open Super 300: Kidambi Srikanth, Priyanshu Rajawat through to quarters; Sindhu out

Former world No 1 Kidambi Srikanth came up with a solid 21-16, 21-15 win over top seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia at the Swiss Open Super 300 in Basel on Thursday.

Priyanshu Rajawat and Kiran George also came up with wins in their respective men’s singles Round of 16 matches. The women’s doubles team of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, seeded eighth in the tournament, beat compatriots Priya Konjengbam and Shruti Mishra 21-10, 21-12 to move to the quarter-finals.

There were however, quite a few losses for the Indian contingent as well.

Fourth seed PV Sindhu lost 21-16, 19-21, 16-21 to Japan’s Tomoka Miyazaki in a match that lasted 79 minutes.

Lakshya Sen, the seventh seed in the men’s singles draw, went down to Chinese Taipei’s Chia Hao Lee 17-21, 15-21.

In mixed doubles, B Sumeeth Reddy and Sikki Reddy were beaten 11-21, 14-21 by Dutch duo Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek, while Satish Karunakaran and Aadya Variyath lost 17-21, 14-21 to the third seeds from Malaysia Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei.

Meanwhile in women’s doubles, Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Japan’s Rui Hirokami and Yuna Kato 17-21, 16-21.

Srikanth picked up only his second win in six meetings against Lee in a match that lasted 36 minutes.

The Indian took an early, but narrow lead in the opening game, but did not extend it till the scores were 12-11. Srikanth won the next five points on the trot to go up 17-11 en route to a 21-16 opening game win.

The second game was much tighter with Lee fighting back strongly while Srikanth continued to build on his momentum. Both players were level on 14-14 when Srikanth won the next six points to bring up match points.

He needed his second match point to secure the tie and move into the quarter-final.

Rajawat scored a 21-14, 21-13 win over China’s Lei Lan Xi in a match that lasted 38 minutes. Barring the early exchanges where the duo shared points, Rajawat raced into a 11-5 lead and carried on that momentum to take the first game.

He continued in that same vein in the second game, leading right from the start and now giving Lei a chance of a comeback into the match before securing a spot for himself in the quarter-final.

The third Indian in the men’s singles quarter-final, Kiran George, had to work hard to get to the last eight stage of the competition. He came up with an 18-21, 22-20, 21-18 win over France’s Alex Lanier in a 71 minute match.

Lanier led from the start in the opening game. Though George managed to level proceedings at 18-18, the Frenchman won the next three points to secure the first game.

The second game was much tighter as both players remained within touching distance of each other with George taking it 22-20 to send the match into the decider.

Again, it remained close, but the Indian eventually managed to hold onto the narrow lead to win the match.

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