It was a mixed day for Indians at the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament on Thursday as top seed Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth went through to the quarterfinals while Parupalli Kashyap and the men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy bowed out.
Saina, who had to undergo a knee surgery in August, survived a scare before getting past Indonesian Dinar Dyah Ayustine 17-21, 21-18, 21-12 to reach the last eight. Sai Praneeth staged a major upset, beating fifth seed Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong in straight games.
It was a good start from Saina, who led the first game at the halfway mark, but the world No 50 staged a terrific comeback as she took the lead at 19-15, having trailed 7-10 earlier and won the first game comfortably.
In the second, Saina surged to a 10-3 lead only to find the determined Dinar level at 18-18. However, the comeback was short-lived as Saina went on to take the next three points and drew the match level at 1-1.
Saina’s comeback seemed to have taken the Indonesian by surprise as she went down 12-21, virtually without a fight, handing the Indian victory in 62 minutes. Saina will next face China’s Zhang Yiman for a place in the last-four.
Parupalli Kashyap crushed
In men’s singles third round, it was a dominant display from Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu Hsien as the world No 54 defeated Kashyap 21-13, 22-20. Both the players were tied at six points each in the first game before Lin surged ahead 11-7. Kashyap could only manage six more points before losing the game 13-21.
In the second game, Kashyap had a 11-10 lead at the halfway mark but Lin made a strong comeback and kept piling on the pressure. Kashyap did manage to level the game at 20-20 after trailing 17-19, but eventually lost the next two points.
In the other men’s singles match, world No 37 Sai Praneeth surprised world No 18 Wong Wing Ki Vincent 21-15, 21-17. In a match that lasted 43 minutes, Praneeth blew away a three-point lead in the first game but came back strongly to lead 11-9 at the halfway mark. He then took charge to take the first game in 19 minutes.
In the second game, Wong did manage to open up a five-point lead at 7-2 but Praneeth staged a comeback to pull things back to lead 11-10 at the break. He took the game 21-17. This was Praneeth’s second win over Wong after the Badminton Asia Championships victory in 2012. Praneeth is the only Indian left in the men’s draw after HS Prannoy retired midway in his opening-round match after suffering a back injury.
The third-seeded men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy went down to Singapore’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Hendra Wijaya 20-22, 19-21.