Lakshya Sen on Thursday became the youngest Indian male shuttler to reach the All England Championship quarterfinals, where Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu joined him with an easy win at the Super 1000 tournament in Birmingham on Thursday. Sindhu, the reigning world champion, recorded a dominant 21-8, 21-8 win over Denmark’s Line Christophersen in a completely lop-sided second-round match. Also Read – Saina Nehwal Retires From All England Badminton 2021 Due to Injury; Four Indians Enter 2nd Round of Men’s Singles
Earlier, the 19-year-old Lakshya from Almora, who had claimed five titles in 2019, saw off France’s Thomas Rouxel 21-18, 21-16 to make it to his maiden quarterfinals. However, it was curtains for HS Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth after the duo went down in the men’s singles second round on Thursday. Also Read – Badminton: PV Sindhu Wins; Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap Knocked Out of Men’s Singles in All England Open Championships 2021
Lakshya, who had claimed the Asian Junior Championships title, the World Junior championships bronze and Youth Olympics Games silver in 2018, will next face Netherland’s world no 36 Mark Caljouw. Sindhu will take on Japan’s third seed, Akane Yamaguchi. Also Read – Badminton | All England Championship 2021: Indian Contingent Cleared to Take Part After Three Shuttlers Test Negative in Retests
In the men’s singles, Prannoy, a former top 10 player couldn’t find his way across world number 1 Kento Momota, the Japanese playing his first event since a horrific accident that saw him undergo eye surgery last year. The Indian lost 15-21, 14-21 in a 48-minute match to bow out of the competition.
Olympic hopeful Praneeth squandered the first-game advantage, losing 21-15, 12-21, 12-21 to second seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Also ousted from the tournament was the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, who lost 19-21 9-21 to Japanese duo of Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo in the opening round.
Sindhu came out will all cylinders blazing, zooming into the interval with a massive 10-point lead at 11-1 in just 4 minutes. The Indian then moved to 16-4 and soon sealed the opening game without much effort.
In the second game, Sindhu opened up a 6-4 lead before entering the break with a seven-point advantage.
The Indian conceded three points after the interval before reeling off the remaining 10 points as Line could just watch at the other end.
On Wednesday night, Prannoy along with Lakshya, Olympic hopeful B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma had entered the second round but former world number one Saina Nehwal was forced to concede her opening women’s singles match after suffering an injury.
Saina, who finished second best here in 2015, looked in considerable, troubled by her right thigh. She decided to retire after lagging behind (8-21 4-10) in her opening round match against seventh seed Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark.
In the mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy went down 15-21, 17-21 to Denmark’s Rasmus Espersen and Christine Busch in the opening round.
(With PTI Inputs)
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