HYDERABAD: PV Sindhu and Sai Praneeth stormed into the quarterfinals of the BWF World Championships on Thursday. Praneeth recorded a 21-19, 21-13 victory against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia. But HS Prannoy failed to stop the rampaging World No.1 Kento Momota in the other pre-quarterfinal. Later in the day, India’s top ranked shuttler Kidambi Srikanth suffered a straight games loss against Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 14-21, 13-21.
Sindhu trounced Beiwen Zhang of USA 21-14, 21-6 to set up a mouthwatering quarterfinal against Tai Tzu Ying. The second seed from Chinese Taipei, who enjoys a 10-4 record against Sindhu, worked hard to beat unseeded Kim Ga Eun of Korea 24-22, 24-22.
Earlier, playing a fast-paced game, World No.19 Praneeth shocked World No.8 in 43 minutes. Ginting raised his game after the break to move ahead to 18-15, but Praneeth’s resolve earned him crucial points. Down 17-19, Praneeth’s powerful drives and down the line smashes confused Ginting, who made three unforced errors to lose the game from 19-18.
Praneeth maintained the same tempo in the second game and secured a 5-1 lead. But Ginting fought back and moved ahead to 11-8 by the break. From there it was Praneeth all the way. Pushing Ginting to the back, Praneeth got height to execute his powerful crosscourt smashes. He secured 12 of the next 13 points using the same game plan to move to 20-12. The Indonesian looked hapless as Praneeth won with ease.
In the quarterfinals, Praneeth will face the fourth seed Jonathan Christie of Indonesia.
Praneeth said that he was determined to win as this was the most important match. “The draw was not too tough. This match was very important and I’m happy to have won it. In the first game, the rallies were going good. I was actually prepared for his pace. In the second game I was down initially, but once I got a lead like 14-11, I decided to play my game,” Praneeth told the BWF website.
Earlier, a lion-hearted display was not enough for Prannoy to stop Momota. The Indian matched the defending champion in all departments in the first game. But Momota’s rock solid defence was difficult to crack.
After staying close to Momota upto 15-15, Prannoy found it tough to maintain the tempo. A 57-stroke rally drained out the Indian. The Kerala shuttler was the contest till 19-19 before Momota moved to game-point with a fast-paced drive and won the game with a smash at the net.
After the tough first game which lasted 21 minutes, Prannoy caved in the second.
Second seed Tien Chen Chou of Chinese Taipei defeated Kean Yew Loh of Singapore 21-13, 18-21, 21-17 also in the pre-quarterfinals.