HS Prannoy, Chirag-Satwik sail into quarters at India Open 2024
NEW DELHI — India’s World Championships 2023 bronze medallist HS Prannoy and men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy advanced to the quarter-finals of the India Open 2024 by securing emphatic victories at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
While HS Prannoy fought back from a game down to defeat young compatriot Priyanshu Rajawat 20-22, 21-14, 21-14, Chirag-Satwik comfortably saw off Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han of Chinese Taipei for a 21-14, 21-15 victory.
In the battle of the two Indians in the second round, both shuttlers went toe-to-toe right from the outset.
In the opening game, Priyanshu overturned a two-point deficit by winning four consecutive points at the very end to lead 20-18 lead but his opponent neatly saved two game points to level the score at 20-20. However, Prannoy could not counter the 21-year-old’s precise consecutive smashes and lost the first game.
In the second game, the World No.9 orchestrated a formidable comeback and notched seven consecutive points to establish a commanding 7-0 lead over Priyanshu. From that point, Prannoy never looked back and comfortably closed out the game to force a decider. The 31-year-old extended his dominance in the final game to seal a third consecutive head-to-head victory against Priyanshu.
Sharing his thoughts on the victory, HS Prannoy stated, “I had my chances at 18-16, but he played a steady game till the end of the first game. I was ready to play the second and third games and I knew I had to stretch the game long today to get this win. When you know that there is somebody who knows your game very well, it is important to know how you will execute, during the game and score points. He (Priyanshu) has been somebody who has come up really well in the last one or two years and I am really happy to see somebody who is 21, playing at this level.”
On the adjacent court, Asian Games 2022 gold medallists Chirag-Satwik made a bright start in their pre-quarterfinals clash. The Indian pair seized the first game by winning the long rallies and adeptly defending against their opponent’s attacks.
Having previously defeated the Taiwanese pair in straight games in the French Open 2022 final, Chirag-Satwik replicated that result by continuing their domination in the second game and registering a 46-minute victory on home turf.
“The way we played, we were dominating right from the start of the match. Fired some rockets across the net. All the tactics that we had planned for the match kind worked for us. We are set for the next match and hopefully, we will go all guns blazing and play our best,” commented Chirag Shetty after the game.
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu led the march of the underdogs in the second round with an upset win over defending men’s singles champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand
The morning session also saw former world champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and All England champion Li Shi Feng of China biting the dust.
Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan defeated Yamaguchi 21-11, 21-19 while Japan’s Koke Watanabe upset third seed Feng 14-21, 21-13, 21-9.
In other women’s singles matches, defending champion An-Se Young of South Korea had to fight hard for a 21-19, 14-21, 21-14 win over Beiwen Zhang of USA. Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Tai Tzu-Ying of Chinese Taipei and two-time World Championships bronze medallist He Bing Jao of China also recorded comfortable wins over their respective opponents.
Tai defeated Supanida Katethong 21-12, 21-11 while He Bing Jao packed off Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-6, 21-11.