India’s promising pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty produced another scintillating result, ousting Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe in the round of 16 of China Open on Thursday while the singles campaigns came to an early end.
Satwik and Chirag, recently promoted to No 9 in the world, beat Endo and Watanabe for the second time in two tournaments. The Indians, who are having a breakthrough year, defeated the 2019 Asian Championships winners 21-18, 21-23, 21-11 in a 66-minute encounter on Thursday. Satwik and Chirag had beaten the Japanese pair in the semi-final of the French Open as well during their run to the final.
Earlier, Parupalli Kashyap’s campaign in Fuzhou was brought to a halt after a straight-game defeat against Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in Fuzhou on Thursday.
Kashyap, ranked 25 in the world, ran out of steam after a decent start against seventh seed Axelsen and went down 13-21, 19-21 in the men’s singles second round, that lasted 43 minutes.
In the mixed doubles round of 16, Korea’s Seung Jae Seo and Yujung Chae beat India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa 23-21, 21-16.
This is the second time Kashyap has lost to Axelsen this year. The former Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap, who reached the semi-finals at India Open and Korea Open earlier this year, had lost to the world No 6 at the India Open in March.
Later on Thursday, world number 11 Sai Praneeth lost in a titanic battle against in-form Anders Antonsen in the men’s singles. In a battle of the world championships medallists, bronze medallist Sai Praneeth lost out to the silver medallist from Denmark 22-20 20-22 21-16 in a titanic battle that lasted 83 minutes.
With the results on Thursday, Satwik and Chirag are the last Indian shuttlers left in contention in Fuzhou as they face former world champions Li Jun Hui / Liu Yu Chena from China in the quarter-finals.
With PTI Inputs