World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen stunned World No 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark in straight games to progress to the men’s singles quarterfinals of the All England Championship. But that was the only positive in singles on Thursday as Olympic medallists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal crashed out of the competition.

Sen, the 20-year-old from Almora, who had claimed his maiden Super 500 title at India Open in January and then reached the finals of German Open last week, notched an upset 21-16, 21-18 win over third seed Antonsen in their first meeting.

All England Open, Day 2 as it happened: Lakshya knocks out Antonsen; Sindhu, Srikanth bow out

Antonsen is also a two-time medallist at the World Championships.

Sen will face China’s Lu Guang Zu in the quarterfinal.

Fifth seeded Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also entered the last eight stage after making short work of Mark Lamfuss and Marvin Seidel of Germany 21-7, 21-7.

World No 7 Sindhu, made an early exit after going down 19-21, 21-16, 17-21 to left-handed Sayaka Takahashi, ranked 13th, in the second round match. Nehwal also bowed out after a gallant fight ended with a loss to second seed Japanese Akane Yamaguchi in a thrilling three-game match in the second round.

Former World No 1 Nehwal, the London Olympics bronze medallist, lost 14-21, 21-17, 17-21 to the second ranked player Yamaguchi in a 50-minute women’s singles clash.

It was a much-improved performance from the Indian, who had lost in straight games to Thailand’s Ratchanok Inthanon at German Open last week.

Later in the day, World Championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth also bowed out after losing 21-9, 18-21, 19-21 to Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in a second round match that last just over an hour.

In women’s doubles though, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand also entered the quarterfinal after their sixth seeded opponents Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu from Indonesia retired in the second game, lagging 14-19 after winning the first game 21-18.

Sen’s tactical play

Sen gave ample display of his tactical acumen as he dished out a defensive game and kept Antonsen away from the net to lead 11-9 at the first break. He kept proceedings under control after the interval to move to a 13-9 lead and maintained the lead to pocket the opening game.

The youngster kept stayed close to the baseline and tried to use his smash judiciously to jump to a 9-5 lead early in the second game before grabbing a four-point advantage at the breather.

Antonsen fought his way back to 14-14, riding on six points on the trot. The duo was level at 16-16 before Sen managed to eke out a two-point lead at 18-16.

He kept his nerves and unleased a cross court smash to grab three match points. Antonsen saved one after an exciting rally but the Indian shut the door on the next to make it to the quarterfinals.

Coming into the match with an equal 4-4 head-to-head record, Sindhu was forced to play catch up as Takahashi led through a majority of the opening game. The Indian kept snapping at her heels though and had levelled scores at 11-11 and 15-15.

Stung by losing the opening game 21-19, Sindhu came out fired up in the second, galloping to a huge 14-4 lead, a gap the Japanese couldn’t bridge as the Indian bounced back.

In the decider, Sindhu managed to open up a slender 8-6 lead but Takahashi soon turned the tables and then reeled off five straight points to jump to 15-10.

Sindhu tried to erase the deficit and made it 17-18 before the Japanese sealed the match comfortably.

What Lakshya said

“There was a bit of drift, so keeping that in mind, I had two game plans in mind,” said Sen. “In the first game I was just trying to keep the shuttle back and I could get a good length. In the second game from the faster side, I took my chances and going for my smashes really helped,” the Indian shuttler was quoted as saying by BWF.

“I’m in really good form and the tournaments I played last year gave me a lot of confidence. The India Open win was a big boost. As a kid you always want to win at the All England as this event has a rich history, so it’s an important tournament for me and I look forward to doing well.

(with PTI inputs)