Lakshya Sen and PV Sindhu kept their campaigns alive with hard-fought wins on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Masters Super 500 tournament at Istora Senayan in Jakarta.
Lakshya pulled off an impressive 21-18, 21-15 win against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke but the match was an intense battle for the most part. Later in the day, Sindhu overcame a stiff challenge from former world junior champion Gregoria Mariska Tunjung with a 23-21, 20-22, 21-11 win in 71 minutes.
Lakshya, seeded seventh, had to be at his best to overcome a stern test from world No 13 Gemke. Both games were tight to begin with, and Lakshya trailed 10-11 at the interval on both occasions. But the second half of each game saw the India No 1 come up with good phases of play to pull ahead.
In the end, the scoreline didn’t quite reflect how hard he had to work as the match needed 54 minutes despite being a straight-games affair. Both players engaged in long rallies and thrilled the crowd with their defence too.
Lakshya prevailed in the end and the iconic Istora crowd roared in approval as the Indian threw the racket up in what is now becoming a signature celebration.
Here’s how the two games panned out:
In the previous round too, Lakshya had a tricky test against Danish veteran HK Vittinghus. But the 20-year-old delivered a solid performance to complete a 21-10, 21-18 victory in 38 minutes.
Lakshya will now face third seed Chou Tien Chen in the quarterfinal. The Chinese Taipei star overcame Lee Cheuk Yiu in three enthralling games.
Sindhu was in action later in the day after registering a come-from-behind win against Line Christophersen to reach the round of 16.
This time around she started well to take a thrilling opening game after saving three game points. The Indonesian youngster however kept fighting hard. Her crosscourt drops were causing Sindhu strife and she built up a big lead in the second game at 10-5. But Sindhu kept catching up and eventually had match point too with Tunjung landing awkwardly at the net. The Indonesian somehow then saved match point and forced a decider as Sindhu was left frustrated.
But with the home shuttler’s movement hampered, Sindhu was in control throughout the decider and closed out the match. The fourth-seeded Indian extended her record against Tunjung to 7-0 in what was their first meeting since 2019.
She will next Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in a battle of former world champions. Intanon, 5th seed, leads the current head to head 8-4 and won their most recent meeting at the Uber Cup quarterfinals.
Later in the day, Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy lost against second seeds Huang Yaqiong and Zheng Siwei of China. The Indians gave it a good go for the most part against the Tokyo Olympics silver medallists but eventually Zheng and Huang proved too strong. The Chinese pair wins 21-18, 21-13 in 35 minutes.