Malaysia Masters: Indian shuttler Sindhu, Srikanth reach quarterfinals
Indian singles shuttlers had a field day at the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold on Thursday as PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Ajay Jayaram all won their respective matches to enter the quarter-finals of the $120,000 event being played at the Spice Stadium in Penang.
However, the Indian challenge in doubles ended with women partners Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa losing their second round match to the Japanese pairing of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito 14-21, 17-21 in 37 minutes.
Former winner and third seed Sindhu had a difficult outing as she took more than an hour to overcome a strong challenge thrown at her by Japan’s Kaori Imabeppu. Eventually, the 2013 winner came out on top with a 21-13, 13-21, 21-14 triumph in the women’s singles second round.
Sindhu will next take on her old foe from Indonesia, Lindaweni Fanetri, for a place in the semis. World No.12 Sindhu has a healthy 7-2 record against the Indonesian.
Later in men’s singles, second seed Srikanth had an easy win over Thai 16th seed Boonsak Ponsana. The Guntur-born took just 33 minutes to come out the winner with a 21-17, 21-10 win. The World No.9 Indian will next face China’s Huang Yuxiang.
Jayaram, seeded 10th, also had a tough outing but managed a 56-minute victory over Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkiffli. The Mumbaikar won 11-21, 21-8, 22-20 and faces an even tougher quarter-final as he will be up against two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei in the last eight clash.
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- With the advent of the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014, the indigenous sport has witnessed a major transition – from one that was closely followed in rural areas to a topic that was discussed over dinner in metro cities.