As it happened, Orleans Masters 2021, Day 3: Kapila-Ponnappa join Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth in quarters
Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth will be hoping for quality performances at the Super 100 event.
11:20 PM IST - Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth headline Indian act
It was a fruitful day for Indians at the 2021 Orleans Masters as most shuttlers made it to through to the next stage.
Kicking off the day, Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and the top seed in men's singles Kidambi Srikanth reached the last eight of the Super 100 event.
For Saina Nehwal, the win was not a straight forward one as she had to dig deep against France’s Marie Batome, taking three games to triumph.
Young Ira Sharma also made it through to the next round by knocking out Mariya Mitsova, a shuttler ranked 91 places higher than her.
However, Chirag Sen and Kiran George bowed out in the men’s singles.
In the men’s doubles, G Krishna Prasad and GP Vishnu Vardhan advanced to the quarter-finals, along with MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila.
Kapila also made it through in the mixed doubles with his partner Ashwini Ponnappa while Pranaav Chopra and Sikki Reddy were eliminated in the second round.
Join us tomorrow as the Orleans Masters enters its business end at the Palais des Sports. Good night!
11:15 PM IST - Pranaav Chopra and Sikki Reddy exit
The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Chopra and N Sikki Reddy could not go past the Danish duo of Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund in the second round.
The Indian team is eliminated after going down in straight sets.
Score: Chopra/Sikki 10-21, 7-21 Nohr/Magelund
10:04 PM IST - Kiran George eliminated
Kiran George’s campaign at the Orleans Masters ended with a loss to Brice Leverdez of France.
The 21-year-old Indian put up a brave fight against the world No. 36 but eventually lost in three games.
Score: George 15-21, 21-14, 19-21 Leverdez
9:12 PM IST - Dhruv Kapila and Ashwini Ponnappa advance to quarters
Kapila and Ponnappa hold on to the early lead despite a fightback from the English opponents.
Hemming and Williams stage a comeback from 16-7 to reach 19-17 but the Indians prove to be the better team, winning the fiercely-contested game and the match.
Score: Kapila/Ponnappa 21-12, 21-18 Hemming/Williams
9:04 PM IST - Kapila/Ponnappa flying ahead
The two teams trade points at the beginning of the game but the Indians race ahead by winning seven points on the trot.
It looks too easy for Kapila and Ponnappa. They lead 11-4 at the interval.
Score: Kapila/Ponnappa 21-12, 11-4 Hemming/Williams
8:54 PM IST - Kapila/Ponnappa win opening game
The Indian pair continue their domination post the interval with brilliant presence across the court. The duo maintains their lead to take the first game with ease.
Score: Kapila/Ponnappa 21-12 Hemming/Williams
8:44 PM IST - Kapila and Ponnappa start strong
The mixed doubles duo of Dhruv Kapila and Ashwini Ponnappa start off on the right note against England’s Callum Hemming and Victoria Williams.
The Indians made a few early mistakes but nothing to worry about as they lead going into the break.
Score: Kapila/Ponnappa 11-6 Hemming/Williams
8:42 PM IST - Garaga/Panjala through
The men’s doubles team of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala put up a dominating performance against the Danish pair of Kristian Hoholdt Kraemer and Marcus Rindshoj.
The Indians men won the two games convincingly and move to the final eight.
Score: Garaga/Panjala 21-7, 21-13 Kraemer/Rindshoj
8:09 PM IST - Kidambi Srikanth moves to quarters
The intensity seems to have picked up after the small break as both players continue to fight point for point.
Srikanth breaks away after Wei commits a foul at the net. The Malaysian then fails to properly connect the next one and gives away the match point.
The Indian lets out a huge cry after winning the match and moves on to the quarter-finals.
Score: Srikanth 21-17, 22-20 Wei
7:59 PM IST - Medical timeout for Wei
It’s a close one again. But the game is paused for a medical timeout.
With scores tied at 18-all, there seems to be an issue with Wei’s ankle as a medical official attends him.
Score: Srikanth 21-17, 18-18 Wei
7:53 PM IST - Narrow lead for Kidambi Srikanth
It's been a frantic game so far with neither shuttlers willing to take their foot off the paddle.
Cheam June Wei had his moments, but the Malaysian couldn't press for an advantage as Kidambi Srikanth finds a way to eke out an 11-10 lead at the mid-game interval.
Score: Srikanth 21-17, 11-10 Wei
7:41 PM IST - Kidambi Srikanth takes the opener
It's too close to call as both players fought it out till the very end.
Srikanth, however, pulls away with his strong presence near the net and wins the game with a powerful cross-court smash.
Score: Srikanth 21-17 Wei
7:32 PM IST - Tough test for Kidambi Srikanth
The top seed Kidambi Srikanth has come out strongly, especially with his drop shots, in the opening game against Malaysia’s Cheam June Wei.
But the Malaysian is able to match Srikanth’s intensity for every point. It’s a tight game so far with the Indian enjoying a slender two-point lead.
Score: Srikanth 11-9 Wei
6:22 PM IST - Chirag Sen bows out
Its curtains on Indian shuttler Chirag Sen's campaign as the 22-year-old bows out to Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in the second round.
The Indian player put up a valiant fight and even won the first game. However, world No. 22, Vittingus, raised his game in the next two to register a come-from-behind win.
Score: Chirag 21-14, 9-21, 17-21 Vittinghus
4:36 PM IST - Arjun/Kapila ease into last eight
In the men’s doubles, the team of M.R Arjun and Dhruv Kapila proved too strong for the English duo of Rory Easton and Zach Russ.
The Indian duo hardly broke a sweat to beat the Englishmen and sail into the quarter-finals.
Score: Arjun/Kapila 21-11, 21-12 Easton/Russ
4:30 PM IST - Ira Sharma joins Saina Nehwal in quarters
More good news for the Indians as Ira Sharma continues her dream run in the tournament.
She knocks out world No. 71 Mariya Mitsova of Bulgaria in straight games to fly into the quarter-finals.
Score: Sharma 21-18, 21-13 Mitsova
4:25 PM IST - Saina Nehwal gets through
That was a fine way to round off the match. Saina looked much calmer and was strong on her returns.
Batomene, meanwhile. was visibly disappointed after committing a string of errors, which give away the game and, with it, the match. The Olympic bronze medallist awaits the winner between Iris Wang of Malaysia and France's Yaelle Hoyaux, next.
Score: Saina 18-21, 21-15, 21-10 Batomene
4:18 PM IST - Saina Nehwal up in third game
It was Batomene’s chance to up the intensity in the decider but Saina matches her point for point.
Saina was able to race ahead after 5-5 to hit the interval with a four-point lead.
Score: Saina 18-21, 21-15, 11-7 Batomene
4:09 PM IST - Saina Nehwal forces decider
Saina continues the game with great aggression, especially with her smashes.
The Indian looked better of the two shuttlers in this game and not surprisingly draw levels with a fine show.
Score: Saina 18-21, 21-15 Batomene
3:59 PM IST - Saina Nehwal keeps the fight alive
A change of approach from Saina in the second game as she comes in aggressively in the second game.
The Indian exhausts Batomene by hitting the shuttle to all parts of the court. This helps Saina go into the break with a six-point lead.
Score: Saina 18-21, 11-5 Batomene
3:50 PM IST - Saina Nehwal on the backfoot
The Indian ace has found it hard to maintain a clean game with a number of errors creeping in post the mid-game interval, especially near the net.
Saina Nehwal tried mixing her serves, but her opponent seems to have had the upper hand so far.
Score: Saina 18-21 Batomene
3:41 PM IST - Tough start for Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal is off to a shaky start, with Marie Batomene grabbing the initial advantage.
The Indian has looked unhappy with a few of the line calls, but still a long way to go in this.
Score: Saina 10-11 Batomene
3:15 PM IST - Indian badminton players in action today
The Orleans Masters has seen a number of Indians fight it for some value rankings points, and the trend is set to continue on Thursday as well.
Here’s a look at the Indian interest in the competition today.
Kidambi Srikanth vs Cheam June Wei (Malaysia)
Chirag Sen vs Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus (Denmark)
Kiran George vs Brice Leverdez (France)
Saina Nehwal vs Marie Batomene (France)
Ira Sharma vs Mariya Mitsova (Bulgaria)
MR Arjun/ Dhruv Kapila vs Rory Easton/ Zach Russ (England)
Krishna Prasad Garaga/ Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala vs Kristian Hoholdt Kraemer/ Marcus Rindshoj (Denmark)
Dhruv Kapila/ Ashwini Ponnappa vs Callum Hemming/ Victoria Williams(England)
Pranaav Jerry Chopra/ N Sikki Reddy vs Niclas Nohr/ Amalie Magelund (Denmark)
3:00 PM IST - Saina Nehwal first up!
After two days of intense action, the 2021 Orleans Masters will resume with top Indian shuttlers battling for a place in the quarter-finals.
Day 3 begins with the 2012 Olympics bronze medallist, Saina Nehwal, taking on local shuttler Marie Batomene.
Men’s top seed Kidambi Srikanth, who ousted fellow Indian Ajay Jayaram in the previous round, will line up against Cheam June Wei of Malaysia.
Srikanth holds the edge in this contest, having previously defeated the Malaysian at the 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships.
The mixed doubles will see two Indian pairs taking the court today.
Two-time Olympian Ashwini Ponnappa and Dhruv Kapila face England’s Callum Hemming and Victoria Williams while Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will battle Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund of Denmark.
Kiran George, who defeated HS Prannoy in the last round, will take on Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.
Meanwhile, the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy have been handed a walkover following the Indonesian pair of Febriana Kusuma and Amalia Pratiwi’s withdrawal.