Badminton

Dutch Open: Ashwini Ponnappa, Satwiksairaj enter mixed doubles prequarters

India’s leading mixed doubles pair came through in three games in their 1st round clash.

India’s mixed doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy entered the pre-quarterfinal of the Dutch Open Grand Prix Gold with a win in three games in their second round match in Almere, Netherlands on Wednesday.

The recently-formed team of Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj took 58 minutes to overcome the seventh-seeded Dutch pairing of Robin Tabeling and Cheryl Seinen 21-15 20-22 21-6 in a closely fought contest. After a comfortable win in the first game, where the Indians led from start to finish, the local duo came back strongly in the second game from 5-9 down to take it 22-20. The third game was a breeze though, with Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj wrapping things up 21-6, losing serve only five times and winning 11 of the last 13 points.

They’ll now face the Danish pairing of Kristoffer Knudsen and Isabella Nielsen in the round of 16.

There was more good news in the mixed doubles category with qualifiers Manu Attri and K Maneesha also reaching the last 16 with a 21-18, 21-23, 21-14 win over Freek Golinski and Lise Jaques from Belgium in 50 minutes.

In the men’s singles category, 15th seed Subhankar Dey won the first of his two scheduled matches on the day by defeating Japan’s Naoki Yamazawa 21-14, 21-18 in the first round. He awaits Belgium’s Maxime Moreels in the second round match, scheduled to take place later on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, it was curtains for Rahul Yadav, Karan Rajan Rajarajan, Sahil Sipani, Pratul Joshi (men’s singles) and Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli (women’s singles) as they lost their respective first round matches. Joshi was impressive in his defeat though, pushing the top seed Tzu Wei Wang from Chinese Taipei all the way before losing 21-8 19-21 21-19 in 58 minutes.

Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this report erroneously stated that Ponappa and Rankireddy reached the quarterfinals.

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