India Open badminton: PV Sindhu beats Ashmita Chaliha to enter semi-finals

PV Sindhu will take on the sixth seed Supanida Katethong from Thailand in the semi-finals. Lakshya Sen, meanwhile, won his quarter-final match against HS Prannoy.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by BAI

Former world champion PV Sindhu on Friday beat upcoming Indian badminton player Ashmita Chaliha 21-7, 21-18 to enter the women’s singles semi-finals of the India Open 2022 at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi.

PV Sindhu started the quarter-final on a strong note, dominating the 22-year-old South Asian Games gold medalist from Assam to race to an 11-7 lead in the first game. From there, Ashmita Chaliha failed to make inroads and conceded 10 successive points to lose the first game in just 11 minutes.

The second game saw fewer unforced errors and stronger rallies from Ashmita Chaliha with the game poised 11-10 at the break.

The southpaw, who stunned fifth seed Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia and then Yaelle Hoyaux of France on her way to the quarter-finals, produced consistent counter-attacks to keep Sindhu in check with the game tied at 15-15.

The two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, however, remained clinical and amped her pace in time to clinch the match in 36 minutes.

PV Sindhu, the 2017 India Open champion, will next take on the sixth seed from Thailand Supanida Katethong for a place in the final.

Katethong received a walkover after Yeo Jia Min of Singapore, seeded third, pulled out of the India Open due to high fever.

In other women’s singles quarter-finals, youngster Aakarshi Kashyap made light work of Malvika Bansod, who defeated Saina Nehwal in the round of 16. She won the match 21-12, 21-15 in 45 minutes and will face second seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan from Thailand in the semi-finals.

In the men’s singles, world championships bronze winner Lakshya Sen came from a game down to defeat HS Prannoy 14-21, 21-9, 21-14 in a seesaw battle that lasted 60 minutes. Lakshya Sen will take on Ng Tze Yong of Malaysia in the semi-final on Saturday.

In the men’s doubles, Olympian pair Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy beat Singapore’s fancied pair of Terry Hee Yong Kai and Loh Kean Hean 21-18, 21-18 in 39 minutes.

However, Ishaan Bhatnagar and Sai Pratheek K lost their quarter-final match to Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi 21-7, 21-7 in just 19 minutes.

The Indian mixed pair of Nithin HV and Ashwini Bhat lost to Singapore’s Terry Hee Yong Kai and Tan Wei Han 21-15, 21-19 in 30 minutes.

The match was followed by another loss for India in mixed doubles with veteran Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan losing to third seeds from Malaysia Chen Tang Jie and Peck Yen Wei 21-10, 21-13 in 23 minutes.

In the women’s doubles quarter-finals, Haritha Manazhiyil Harinarayanan and Ashna Roy defeated Rudrani Jaiswal and Jamaludeen Anees Kowsar 21-16, 21-16 in 30 minutes in an all Indian affair.

Deeksha Chaudhary and Yashica Jakhar, meanwhile, went down to fourth seeds from Thailand Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard 21-8, 21-3 in just 20 minutes.

The other women’s pair Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam lost to Russia’s Ekaterina Malkova and Anastasiia Shapovalova 21-18, 21-14 in 34 minutes.

World champion Loh Kean Yew, meanwhile, defeated Russia’s Sergey Sirant 21-16, 21-13 in 33 minutes to enter the men’s singles semi-finals. He will face Brian Yang of Canada on Saturday.

As many as 11 matches were listed as walkovers on Thursday with seven shuttlers, including India’s top badminton player in men’s singles Kidambi Srikanth, testing positive for COVID-19 earlier.

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