12.45 am: Overall, it has turned out to be a disappointing day for India with only two out of the five singles players progressing. And PV Sindhu and Sai Praneeth have massive games on Friday too, so India’s medal hopes at the Worlds hang by the balance. That will be all from us for the day... you can check out our round-up here. Goodnight.
12.37 am: Saina Nehwal had match points to win in straight games but is knocked out by Mia Blichfeldt in three games. Was always going to a very tough fixture for Saina, given her lack of match time. Her run of last 8 appearances at the Worlds has come to an end. Only PV Sindhu and Sai Praneeth will be in action on Friday.
Here’s how the third game panned out.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 12-21 Mia Blichfeldt
That’s end of the World Championships campaign for Saina Nehwal! 22-year-old Danish shuttler Blichfeldt saves 2 match points and emerges victorious.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 11-19 Mia Blichfeldt
Just two points away from a place in the last eight for Mia.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 10-17 Mia Blichfeldt
Five straight points for Mia to open up a 8-point lead, Saina stops that run. Can she go on a run now? It’s getting out of her hands now.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 9-15 Mia Blichfeldt
Six point lead for the Danish world No 12 now. Looks like a lost cause for Saina... can she fight back?
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 9-13 Mia Blichfeldt
Oh dear, four-point lead for the Dane now.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 8-11 Mia Blichfeldt
Four straight points for Mia and she opens up a 3-point lead now! Saina reduces the deficit by 1 but the Dane takes a lead into the final change of ends. Saina in trouble now, folks.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 7-8 Mia Blichfeldt
For the first time in the decider, Mia is into the lead.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 7-7 Mia Blichfeldt
The Dane levels it up at 6-6, but Saina inches ahead. And the Dane levels it up again. More of the same then, eh?
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 6-5 Mia Blichfeldt
A handy little lead for Saina in the third... and Mia closes in again! Just one point in it now.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27, 5-2 Mia Blichfeldt
Well, Saina has a 3-point lead early on in the third. Not sure we can take another close game like the second! Can the Indian make her experience count here?
Second game stats: What a marathon 2nd game! Try making sense of this graph...
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-27 Mia Blichfeldt
Saina Nehwal saves five game points in the second game and had two match points of her own but Mia Blichfeldt has managed to force a decider in their round of 16 encounter.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 25-25 Mia Blichfeldt
FIFTH GAME POINT SAVED BY SAINA! And we have a half century of points in the 2nd game. This is so tense, especially without the telecast.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 24-24 Mia Blichfeldt
And now Blichfeldt’s game point is saved again by Saina! What is going on in Court 4!!!
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 23-24 Mia Blichfeldt
Another match point for Saina, saved again by the Danish shuttler! And she has a game point again.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 22-22 Mia Blichfeldt
And Saina’s match point is now saved by the Dane. The 22-year-old has made this into a thriller.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 21-21 Mia Blichfeldt
And Saina saves one more game point!
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 20-21 Mia Blichfeldt
Saina saves both game points but Blichfeldt has one more.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 20-18 Mia Blichfeldt
Two game points for the Danish shuttler.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 18-18 Mia Blichfeldt
It’s so tight at the moment in the second game! All level at 18-18.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 17-16 Mia Blichfeldt
The lead has changed hands six times in this second game so far! Blichfeldt moves ahead once again.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 15-15 Mia Blichfeldt
And into the lead goes Blichfeldt... only briefly, as Saina makes it 15-15 from 13-15 down.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 13-13 Mia Blichfeldt
Blichfeldt is not going down without a fight! She has levelled things up in the second game.
11.51 pm: The second game has been a closely contested affair so far! Look at the graph, as both players have gone neck and neck before Saina just inches ahead.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 11-9 Mia Blichfeldt
And now Saina’s turn to win three on the trot to go up 10-8 ahead. She eventually takes a 11-9 lead into the interval.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 7-8 Mia Blichfeldt
Three straight points for the Danish player and she moves into the lead now. Fightback.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 7-5 Mia Blichfeldt
For the first time in the second game, Saina has a two-point lead. It’s been quite tight.
Saina Nehwal 21-15, 3-2 Mia Blichfeldt
Both players trading serves in the opening part of the second game.
First game stats: Quite comfortable for the Indian star.
Saina Nehwal 21-15 Mia Blichfeldt
The Dane briefly threatened a comeback in the second part of the game but Saina holds her ground to win the opener easily. She converts her second game point.
Saina Nehwal 20-14 Mia Blichfeldt
Six game points for Saina.
Saina Nehwal 16-12 Mia Blichfeldt
Blichfeldt closing the gap to less than 5 points, doing better since the interval. Four straight points for the Dane. Saina still ahead comfortably.
Saina Nehwal 11-5 Mia Blichfeldt
From 2-2, Saina Nehwal has pulled away and opened up a healthy lead, winning 9 of the next 12 points.
Saina Nehwal 8-4 Mia Blichfeldt
Looks like Saina means business, has opened up a four-point lead in the opening game.
Saina Nehwal 5-3 Mia Blichfeldt
A good start for the Indian star as she builds an early lead.
11.21 pm: After her smooth sailing in the round of 32, the 2015 World Championships silver medallist takes on Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt who just turned 22 a couple of days back. One of the rising stars on the European circuit, Blichfeldt won gold at the European Games in 2019. She reached her career-best ranking in the world recently as well. This will be the first meeting between the Indian and Dane.
11.15 pm: Right, it’s Saina Nehwal time!
11.11 pm: Saina Nehwal will be in action on court 4 (no telecast) after the ongoing women’s doubles match... which could go into three games.
10.58 pm: What an extraordinary opening game between Antonsen and Tsuneyama! The Dane was leading 13-1, 14-2, 15-5 and then the Japanese fought back to have a game point at 21-20! Antonsen holds on to win it 23-21. Incredible.
10.36 pm: Sai Praneeth will face Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie who defeated former world number 2 Jan O Jorgensen.
10.30 pm: Just a quick recap...
- HS Prannoy went down fighting against No 1 Kento Momota
- Sai Praneeth produced a stellar show against No 6 Anthony Ginting to reach QF
- PV Sindhu outplayed No 10 Beiwen Zhang to set up a classic QF against Tai Tzu Ying
- K Srikanth has ousted by world No 15 Kantaphon in straight games.
- Saina Nehwal is yet to play.
10.20 pm: A mixed few minutes for Indian badminton fans. PV Sindhu absolutely outplayed Beiwen Zhang (world No 10 no less!) while Srikanth’s tournament comes to an end in round of 16. He had an easy draw on paper but his tournament never really got going.
Beiwen Zhang 14-21, 6-21 PV Sindhu
Wow. Talk about clinical! PV Sindhu has just breezed past the world No 10 like she was a rookie shuttler.... Zhang had no answers to Sindhu’s all-round game today. What a statement win that, by Sindhu.
Beiwen Zhang 14-21, 6-20 PV Sindhu
14 MATCH POINTS FOR SINDHU!
10.17 pm: One was hoping that the poor start in the first two rounds were maybe signs that Srikanth was waiting to peak at the right time. Turns out, it has just been more of the same for him. Such a bizarre (yet somehow expected) tournament for him. Tough times for him.
K Srikanth 14-21, 13-21 Kantaphon Wangcharoen
Wow. And the 20-year old Thai shuttler wins four on the trot to thrash Srikanth in straight games! This has been a rather dull campaign from the Indian, former world No 1. Things are not well in Srikanth’s world at the moment.
Beiwen Zhang 14-21, 5-14 PV Sindhu
“She’s made a top-10 player look decidedly average, that’s the best compliment you can pay her,” says the commentator as Sindhu wins six straight points to go up 14-3. And then a rare unforced error.
K Srikanth 14-21, 13-17 Kantaphon Wangcharoen
Meanwhile, four straight points for Srikanth. Can he force a decider? That would be some comeback.
Beiwen Zhang 14-21, 3-11 PV Sindhu
Zhang is looking lost at the moment, as her facial expression after a long rally conveys. “What could I do” it read. Sindhu has raced to a 8-point lead at the interval.
K Srikanth 14-21, 9-17 Kantaphon Wangcharoen
All but over for Srikanth now...
Beiwen Zhang 14-21, 2-8 PV Sindhu
A full splits by Zhang attempting to reach a drop shot by Sindhu and no luck! She is running all over the court and Sindhu is not letting her have any breathing space. Sharp stuff.
Beiwen Zhang 14-21, 1-6 PV Sindhu
A smile on Sindhu’s face as Zhang is indecisive at the baseline and then feels the full force of a body smash from Sindhu at the net. Zhang is not really in the game at the moment.
K Srikanth 14-21, 8-11 Kantaphon Wangcharoen
Srikanth is stairing down the barrel against Kantaphon Wangcharoen as he trails 11-8 in the second game
Beiwen Zhang 14-21, 1-2 PV Sindhu
A good challenge from Zhang in the second rally to start the second game. Sindhu then responds with an authoritative smash on the move. Great reflexes there.
K Srikanth 14-21, 5-9 Kantaphon Wangcharoen
It is not looking good for Srikanth at all. The world No 10’s shaky campaign is on the verge of coming to an end if he doesn’t pick up his game drastically.
Beiwen Zhang 14-21 PV Sindhu
Seven game points for Sindhu and she converts at the second time of asking. Just 17 minutes on court and she races ahead to a 1-0 lead. So far so good for the fifth seed.
Beiwen Zhang 13-19 PV Sindhu
Well, three points on the trot from Zhang, the last of them after a 30-shot rally - the longest of the match so far. Signs of recovery from the American.
Beiwen Zhang 10-19 PV Sindhu
Sindhu has had some trouble finding the right length on her lifts but barely anything else has troubled her... Sindhu has just raced away after the break.
K Srikanth 14-21, 2-1 Kantaphon Wangcharoen
That’s now three games on the trot that Srikanth has lost the opening game in. Maybe it’s his lucky charm? Will he once again win in three games today?
Beiwen Zhang 9-14 PV Sindhu
As Sindhu was racing ahead, opening up a 14-7 lead, Zhang has found her defence and wins a couple of good points.
K Srikanth 14-21 Kantaphon Wangcharoen
Elsewhere, on court 4, Srikanth has been outplayed in the first game by 20-year-old Kantaphon in the opening game. Srikanth has yet again struggled at this tournament to start well.
Beiwen Zhang 7-11 PV Sindhu
Zhang is being put under a lot of pressure by Sindhu, continually on the backfoot in rallies. She plays a delightful drop-return to take the serve back from the Indian but then sends a long serve out of the baseline as Sindhu enters the break with a 11-7 lead. A bizarre challenge on that serve fault from Zhang, was well out.
Beiwen Zhang 6-9 PV Sindhu
A lovely 1-2 combo there from Sindhu to leave Zhang on the court with a powerful smash and then finishes the point with a push to the open court. She has found her footing after some early errors.
Beiwen Zhang 5-7 PV Sindhu
And Sindhu goes into the lead... as Zhang misreads a shuttle close to the sideline at the net. Could have lifted it, but leaves it and it drops in. Zhang’s string is broken next up and Sindhu is up by 2.
Beiwen Zhang 5-4 PV Sindhu
A bit of an erratic start from Sindhu as she gifts a few free points to Zhang. A good smash then that the American sends wide. Another powerful smash and Sindhu closes the gap to 1.
PV Sindhu 1-2 Beiwen Zhang
If the first rally is anything to go by, we are in for a good game. Steady start from both, moving around the court well. Zhang wins the first two points though. And Sindhu gets off the mark with the help of the net chord.
PV Sindhu 0-0 Beiwen Zhang
This should be a cracker. Here we go. Sindhu to serve....
9.40 pm: Meanwhile, on court 1, Tai Tzu Ying lets go a 19-16 lead and then saves two game points in the second game to beat Kim Ga Eun 24-22, 24-22 to advance to the quarterfinals where she will face the winner of the Sindhu-Zhang match.
9.37 pm: It’s PV Sindhu time!
Zhang famously beat Sindhu in the final of the India Open in 2018 and that was part of a three-match win streak the American shuttler enjoyed against Sindhu in 2018. Since then, the Indian has won their last two matches. It will be the first meeting between the two this year.
Opponent’s rank: 10
Head-to-head: Sindhu leads 4-3
9.30 pm: Not too far away from Sindhu’s match now...
India’s most successful player ever at the Worlds will take on a familiar rival in the round of 16. Sindhu, seeded fifth, faces a tricky match against ninth seed Beiwen Zhang of USA who has shown a knack for upsetting the Indian in the past.
9.25 pm: It’s been a very happening evening for Indian sport.
India were stunned in Antigua by an early flurry of wickets but have recovered against WI.
The India-Pak Davis Cup tie has been postponed.
India are going to have a new batting coach: Vikram Rathour’s name has been recommended for the post ahead of Sanjay Bangar, who is watching the Indian team struggle in the opening session.
For everything badminton, though, you can stay right here with us. Sindhu soon to be in action.
9.14 pm: That’s a rare sight indeed, to see Tai Tzu Ying so pumped up.
9.10 pm: Oh wow, Tai Tzu Ying has been pushed all the way in the opening game by unseeded Kim Ga Eun but the second seed saves four game points to win it 24-22.
9.08 pm: Here’s the match report in detail... find out how Sai Praneeth overcame the Ginting challenge to reach the quarterfinals of the Worlds for the second season running.
8.52 pm: IF you are just joining us, Prannoy went down fighting against Kento Momota before Sai Praneeth brought a lot of cheer to the Indian camp with a straight games win against sixth seed Ginting.
8.39 pm: Time for us to catch a breather. Next up for India will (likely) be PV Sindhu on court 2.
8.36 pm: What a superb win this is for Sai Praneeth. Played high risk badminton but was clinical in its execution, catching Ginting off guard after the interval in the second game to win 13 out of the next 15 points! Ginting was left stunned, did not know what hit him. The sixth seed has been knocked out, the 16th seed moves forward!
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 13-21 Sai Praneeth
Drops the racket to the floor... raises his arms... lets out a roar! Sai Praneeth has stunned the world No 8 after a brilliant performance.
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 12-20 Sai Praneeth
Sai raises him arms to the fans and he has 8 match points! Wow. This is something else.
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 12-18 Sai Praneeth
Oh what a turnaround! Ginting misjudges the shuttle at the baseline and Sai has made it 11 out of 12 points.
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 12-16 Sai Praneeth
A massive roar from Sai! A superb spinning net shot from Sai at the net after a tremendous rally by both players. Morten Frost is mighty impressed. That was a great point by the Indian after surrendering serve. He is on the charge again.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: Sai Praneeth has found a second wind after the mid game interval. He has been lot more aggressive.
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 11-14 Sai Praneeth
It’s been a game of streaks so far! First Sai, then Ginting and now Sai again... who has won 5 straight points since the break and moved ahead by two points! More fist bumps from him, as Ginting makes an unsucessful challenge. And make that six in a row! Brilliant from Sai.
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 11-11 Sai Praneeth
Whatever the coaches told him seems to have worked as Sai Praneeth wins three straight points to level things again!
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 11-8 Sai Praneeth
Nine of the last 10 points for Ginting and he moves into the interval with a handy lead! Quite the turnaround in the second game. The one point that Sai did win was a lovely return winner but his level has dropped. Can he push back?
Abhijeet Kulkarni: Is Sai Praneeth tiring out? It looks like that though he is winning points by attacking Ginting’s serve and playing some quality winners because the mistakes are also creeping into his game now.
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 8-6 Sai Praneeth
And now Ginting roars back! Six straight points from the Indonesian and he has moved ahead. Sai Praneeth making errors... is his old nemesis going to prove costly? He needs to keep a clean game to stay alive in this one.
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 3-6 Sai Praneeth
More instructions from his coaches as Sai pushes ahead, has injected more pace in his game at the moment. And then, after a good rally, makes a poor backhand error. Still in the lead.
Anthony Ginting 19-21, 0-4 Sai Praneeth
And a solid start to the second game by the Indian shuttler, winning four straight points! Ginting looks a bit lost for answers at the moment.
First game stats: Sai Praneeth kept his cool under pressure and it was his better defensive skills that see him through in the opening game.
Anthony Ginting 19-21 Sai Praneeth
Return error from Ginting gives Sai a game point and then he converts it at the first time of asking! Sai Praneeth steals the game from Ginting’s pocket and seems chuffed with that. Great composure from the Indian at the end. First blood for the 16th seed!
Anthony Ginting 19-19 Sai Praneeth
And Sai pulls it back again!
Anthony Ginting 19-18 Sai Praneeth
A superb response from Sai after a poor error, showing great aggression at the net as well as his smashes. He has serve at 18-19. So tense!
Anthony Ginting 18-17 Sai Praneeth
A 33-shot rally that saw both players play some good badminton ends with a net chord that could have gone either way but goes against Sai! Such difference between 16-17 and 15-18! A good point from Sai after that to win the serve back, and wins one more to close the gap to one. Gopichand approves!
Anthony Ginting 16-15 Sai Praneeth
Ginting moves into the lead and Sai Praneeth powers a superb return winner to bring things back level. It’s Ginting’s turn then to hit a good winner to inch ahead.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: The speed at which these exchanges are going, it looks like Sai Praneeth will have to look to win it in two or he may struggle to last the third.
Anthony Ginting 12-13 Sai Praneeth
Sai Praneeth seems focussed and sharp, playing a largely clean game to keep Ginting on the backfoot. The Indonesian is strong offensively though, and every time he gets the pace correct, he is on point. Anybody’s game at the moment.
Anthony Ginting 8-11 Sai Praneeth
Well, well. It’s Sai’s touch-play to the fore as he plays a delicious cross-flick at the net and goes into the break with a three-point lead! Good stuff from the 16th seed.
Anthony Ginting 8-9 Sai Praneeth
A great challenge from Ginting to prevent Sai Praneeth from going up by 3 points. Sai then comes up with a solid down-the-line smash. Good stuff from the Indian, when he is on the attack. Ginting’s turn next up to send back a booming crosscourt winner. All too tight at the moment.
Anthony Ginting 5-7 Sai Praneeth
Both players yet to find their footing... been a error-strewn match so far. Sai then with a good body smash to open up a 2-point lead.
Anthony Ginting 3-4 Sai Praneeth
And Sai responds with four points in a row. Steady badminton, nothing fancy from the Indian.
Anthony Ginting 3-0 Sai Praneeth
Ginting to serve... and he starts off with three straight points. Morten Frost has made his predictions early, if Ginting keeps his game clean Sai doesn’t stand much of a chance according to the Danish legend.
7.49 pm: Sai and Ginting have two matches apiece against each other with the Indonesian bagging the last match between them in the Australian Open in June this year. This is a match between two attacking players... if the Indian can cut down his errors, this should be a close one.
7.47 pm: The 16th seeded Indian takes on a player who has been on an impressive run in the past year or so. The Asian Games bronze medallist Anthony Sinisuka Ginting famously beat Kento Momota at China Open last year. The Indonesian is the sixth seed in Basel and Sai will have his task cut out, even if the head-to-head is level between the two.
7.45 pm: The action keeps coming. Prannoy fought well against Momota but could not upset the top seed. Can Sai Praneeth give India their first win of the day when he takes on Antony Ginting on Court 1 now? This promises to be a cracker on paper.
Kento Momota 21-19, 21-12 HS Prannoy
And onward goes Kento Momota, looking as dangerous as ever! Who is going to beat this man / machine? Not Prannoy today, despite the best efforts. Creditable performance by the Indian but Momota just too good.
Kento Momota 21-19, 20-12 HS Prannoy
Prannoy gives it all despite the match points he is up against and wins a good rally. Good to see that fight.
Kento Momota 21-19, 20-11 HS Prannoy
A superb 32-shot rally ends with Prannoy trying a cute flick at the net that just misses the mark! That sort of a day for the Indian. What else can he do when everything is returning back. Nine match points for Momota.
Kento Momota 21-19, 17-11 HS Prannoy
To his credit, Prannoy is still fighting. Fist pumps, talking to himself, egging to keep going... closes the gap to 6 points.
Kento Momota 21-19, 17-9 HS Prannoy
A successful challenge by Prannoy followed by an error by Momota helps the Indian close the gap a bit.
Kento Momota 21-19, 15-7 HS Prannoy
The commentators think that the 57-shot rally in the first game has deflated Prannoy. Momota is in cruise control now. Prannoy seems to run out of steam... but produces a good point as we type that.
Kento Momota 21-19, 14-6 HS Prannoy
Prannoy ends a run of 6 out of 7 points by Momota but cannot hold serve. World No 1 has raced ahead here.
7.28 pm: An upset on the adjacent court as Momota’s compatriot and 8th seed Nishimota has been knocked out. Zii Jia Lee will play the winner of this match.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: Momota can play the toss-drop game for the whole day. Prannoy will need to push him out of his comfort zone. It hasn’t happened so far as the Japanese takes a 11-5 lead in the second game.
Kento Momota 21-19, 11-5 HS Prannoy
Momota is doing just enough to stay ahead and Prannoy’s level has slipped in this game... it was going to be a challenge to maintain the level from the opener. Only when the Indian is smashing, is he looking dangerous but Momota keeping the shuttle flat and rarely letting Prannoy dictate pace.
Kento Momota 21-19, 6-3 HS Prannoy
Down-the-line smash from Prannoy helps him take the serve back. Then sends the shuttle long after a well-constructed rally.
Kento Momota 21-19, 5-2 HS Prannoy
Not for the first time, Prannoy left a little frustrated by Momota’s ability to find the corners of the court with precision. Another smash from Momota and Prannoy’s block hits the net. This could slip quickly for the Indian.
Kento Momota 21-19, 3-1 HS Prannoy
Two up-tempo rallies from Momota at the start of the second game, perhaps sensing an opening to take a lead and close this out. Prannoy might still be reeling from that opening game. Smart play by the world No 1.
First game stats: Prannoy did everything in that game to keep pace with Momota but the Japanese found a way to change gears at 19-19 and take the opening game 21-19.
Kento Momota 21-19 HS Prannoy
First blood, Momota! End of an enthralling opening as Prannoy does not get distance on his lift, and Momota smashes it like a boss. 31 minutes for that game. Can Prannoy keep this up?
Kento Momota 20-19 HS Prannoy
Quickfire rally and Momota catches Prannoy by surprise. Game point.
Kento Momota 19-19 HS Prannoy
Aggression from Prannoy at the net and he gets serve back at 18-19. What a crucial point that was. And then follows that up with a superb down-the-line smash! Kisses the line! Back level. Superb.
Kento Momota 18-17 HS Prannoy
Two uncharacteristic loose points from Momota from 18-15 to let Prannoy close in again.
Kento Momota 17-15 HS Prannoy
FIFTY SEVEN SHOT RALLY! Wow. What badminton! Both players playing their best but Momota’s best is just a bit too good at the moment... a couple of brilliant retrievals from Prannoy but Momota kills the rally with a sensational drop shot.
Kento Momota 15-14 HS Prannoy
Big roar from Momota this time and that just tells you how tough this game has been. He holds out with his brilliant defensive skills and forces an error from Prannoy to go back ahead. Both players need a breather after that.
Kento Momota 14-14 HS Prannoy
A roar followed by the puff of the cheeks as Prannoy wins two superb rallies to draw level again at 14-14. He is not letting Momota get away with this... both players moving around the court brilliantly.
Kento Momota 12-12 HS Prannoy
Magnificent, says the commentator as Prannoy wins 5 of the last 6 points to draw level! A 33-shot rally finishes with another crosscourt smash from the Indian that has held him in good stead in this game. Great patience mixed with aggression by the Indian star.
Kento Momota 12-10 HS Prannoy
As if his efficiency is not enough, Momota has luck on his side as well. A net chord catches Prannoy off guard and he takes the serve back. A superb down-the-line smash from the Indian next point and keeping himself in touching distance.
Kento Momota 11-9 HS Prannoy
An error from Momota and then a short-lift that is returned with interest by Prannoy as he closes the gap after the break.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: Having bulldozed his opponents in the first two rounds, Momota is facing a stiff opposition from Prannoy. The Indian is willing to play the patient game and has the big smashes to win the points. But Momota is still goes into the break leading 11-7
Kento Momota 11-7 HS Prannoy
A big roar from Prannoy as it is his turn to finish a long rally with another crosscourt smash. That was a 36-shot rally! Great start to this match from both players. Another two rallies that end with errors from Prannoy as Momota returns everything back. Momota ahead in the break.
Kento Momota 9-6 HS Prannoy
The string gives up for Momota as he was going for the kill and Prannoy has the serve back. And then another error from the Japanese. Prannoy closes the gap to two. A tremendous rally from both players next up, the Indian on the backfoot but defending very well and then Momota drops the shuttle before the service line with so much ease! What a way to kill the rally.
Kento Momota 8-4 HS Prannoy
A couple of errors from Prannoy and Momota has a 3-point lead. Great spatial awareness from the world No 1. Prannoy then challenges a call on the baseline, but it has landed in. Momota pulling away.
Kento Momota 5-4 HS Prannoy
Prannoy has Momota running around, then on the floor but goes too hard at a backhand push that goes long on the open court. Missed chance. Then, plays another nice rally to finish with a good crosscourt half-smash. Neat start by the Indian.
Kento Momota 3-3 HS Prannoy
After an error by Momota, another longish rally results with a superb lift by Momota that kisses the line. Prannoy leaves it but its in. Another error by Prannoy followed by a lift that is sent long by Momota. Then A superb smash from Prannoy. Tight start to the match.
HS Prannoy 0-1 Kento Momota
A 24-shot rally to begin with, showing both players are on the money to start. Momota leaves it well at the baseline.
6.40 pm: Having knocked out the greatest men’s singles player to grace the World Championships, Lin Dan, Prannoy said he was was looking forward to facing top seed and defending champion Kento Momota in the next round. Momota later overcame Luis Enrique Penalver of Spain in the second round with consummate ease (21-7, 21-7 in 33 minutes).
“Yes, I am looking forward to Momota because there are some things which I need to prove and this is the event which I need to [do that]. And [want to] believe that I am big tournament player and probably the day after might be a good day,” he said when asked about his tough draw and possibility of facing Momota in the next round.
6.38 pm: World No 30 HS Prannoy takes on World No 1 Kento Momota. The Indian is looking for his first win against the Japan star in what will be their fifth meeting on the circuit. Will today be the day?
6.34: 2017 World Champion is through to the last 8!
6.32 pm: Okuhara has found another gear and is inching closer to a straight games win against Sung Ji Hyun. Which means Prannoy vs Momota is soon upon us.
6.09 pm: Okuhara takes the opening game 21-18 against Sung Ji Hyun after 23 minutes. It’s been an absorbing contest! Will the Japan star wrap it up in straight games?
5.51 pm: Prepare to witness another bruising badminton game on the show court. It’s Nozomi Okuhara taking on Sung ji Hyun, both players not one to give up easily on a point. If they are at their best, this could be another long encounter. Prannoy vs Momota is after this.
5.46 pm: An epic women’s doubles match comes to an end on the show court: 95 minutes it lasted! And it included a mini Chinese protest in the decider when the players were convinced the umpires got the score wrong! Luckily for them, and the organisers, they ended up winning the match eventually.
5.28 pm: A look at some key results so far today. Singapore’s rising star Yeo Jia Min followed up her upset of the top seed Akane Yamaguchi with a battling win, while former world champion Ratchanok Intanon had to save match points and win in three games. He Bingjao won in an all-China affair too.
5.15 pm: We have had a 72-minute match in the women’s singles followed by a women’s doubles match that is 75 minutes on and counting at court 1. There is a match after this before Prannoy and Momota arrive on the show court. The wait is going to be a bit long, but the matches so far have been fantastic too... making it palatable.
Hello all and welcome to our live coverage of day four at the Badminton World Championships in Basel!
With the Indian doubles pairs out of contention at Basel 2019, the attention is all on the singles players left in the fray as day four of the Badminton World Championships begins on Thursday. Five Indians will be looking to get their places booked in the quarter-finals.
Having stunned Lin Dan in the second round, HS Prannoy faces an uphill task against top seed and defending champion Kento Momota.
World No 10 Kidambi Srikanth will square off against 20-year-old Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand while 16th seed B Sai Praneeth takes on Asian Games bronze medallist Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
In the women’s singles, Saina Nehwal battles Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt. PV Sindhu will face ninth seed Beiwen Zhang of USA in the other match.
Stay tuned for all the updates about India’s shuttlers and the key updates from the rest of the field as well.