On an extraordinary day at World Badminton Championship tournament in Jakarta, there were huge upsets in several categories with some of the top seeds just scraping through to the quarterfinals. India’s 11th seeded women singles player PV Sindhu created one of the major upsets of the day by defeating no.3 seed and Olympic gold medalist Li Xuerui of China. In her quarterfinal match on Friday, Sindhu will take on Korea’s no.8 seed Sung Ji Hyun. India had more to cheer about as ace shuttler Saina Nehwal and women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa also reached the quarterfinals. Saina defeated Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi while Jwala/Ashwini won in three games against Japan’s Miyuki Maeda/Reika Kakiiwa. However, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy made fighting exits from the tournament. Srikanth went neck-to-neck against Hong Kong’s Hu Yun but fell in an extremely tight third game. Prannoy played his third round match against Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen but couldn’t match the Dane in the decider after stretching him to three games. In other matches, women singles top seed Carolina Marin had a fighting opponent in Pai Yu Po of Taiwan. Despite an injury scare and consequent medical attention, Marin came through in three games. While other men’s singles seeds kept themselves on course, women’s top seeded doubles pair from Japan, Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi crashed out of the tournament. In other upsets of the day, Denmark’s mixed doubles no.5 seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen and no.10 seeded men’s doubles team of Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding also fell to their rivals in the third round. Women’s singles no.5 seed and 2013 champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand retired in the third game against Indonesia’s Lindaweni Fanetri. There were setbacks for Chinese doubles contenders on Thursday. Women’s Doubles no.6 seeds Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting were defeated by Korea’s Yoo Hae Won/Go Ah Ra and No.2 seeds Luo Ying/Luo Yu were edged out by Japan’s Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao. In mixed doubles too, no.6 seeded Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong, lost their match.
PV Sindhu of India caused a major upset in women single draw by outlasting no.3 seed Li Xuerui of China. After Sindhu took the first game 21-17, Li bounced back to take the second and leveled game scores to 1-1. Third game became a battle of nerves with both players making judgmental errors at baseline, before the Indian edged out the Chinese 21-17, 14-21, 21-17. In the quarterfinal, Sindhu will take on Korea’s no.8 seed Sung Ji Hyun, who came through by beating Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-9, 21-16. India’s no.2 seed Saina Nehwal faced some trouble against Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi before winning at 21-18, 21-14, Saina’s quarterfinal opponent will be Chinese sixth seed Wang Yihan, who fought hard against Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju before beating her 17-21, 21-18, 21-8. India’s women’ doubles team of Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa also entered the quarterfinals by defeating eighth-seeded Japanese combo of Miyuki Maeda/Reika Kakiiwa 21-15, 18-21, 21-19. Jwala/Ashwini will now play another Japanese team of Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao, who caused an upset victory over Chinese no.2 seeds Luo Ying/Luo Yu 18-21, 22-20, 21-19.
However, there was disappointment for India as K Srikanth and HS Prannoy lost in men’s singles third round matches. Srikanth fought with Hong Kong’s Hu Yun before bowing out at 21-14, 17-21, 21-23 while Prannoy lost to Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen 16-21, 21-19, 18-21. Axelson’s quarterfinal opponent is the top seed Chen Long. In another quarterfinal on Friday, Srikanth’s conqueror Hu Yun will take on Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who won 21-17 21-19 against China’s Wang Zhengming.
Defending champion and no.1 seed Carolina Marin of Spain had an injury scare and a difficult third round match against Taiwan’s Pai Yu Po before beating her 21-11, 18-21, 21-17. Marin next takes on no.7 seeded Chinese Wang Shixian, who defeated Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan 24-22, 21-11. However, no.5 seed and 2013 champion Ratchanok Intanon went out of the competition after being stretchered out in the third game against Indonesia’s Lindaweni Fanetri.
China suffered several upsets on Thursday. After women’s doubles no.2 seeds Luo Ying/Luo Yu lost to Japan’s Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao, the no.6 pair of Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting were also eliminated by Korea’s Yoo Hae Won/Go Ah Ra in three games. In a stunning match the Koreans overpowered Ma/Tang 16-21, 21-17, 21-14. China had upset in mixed doubles too with no.6 seeds Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong falling in a thriller to the Dutch pair of Jacco Arends/Selena Piek 21-18, 24-26, 21-23.
The biggest upset of the day was the elimination of Japanese women’s doubles top seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi. The Japanese were defeated by world no.24 Malaysians Amelia Alicia Anscelly/Soong Fie Cho 21-15, 12-21, 21-14. In another upset, men’s doubles tenth seeds Denmark’s Conrad-Petersen/Kolding lost to England’s Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge 21-17, 18-21, 19-21. The Englishmen will face Indonesian third-seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, who defeated Japan’s Kenta Kazuno/Kazushi Yamada 21-16, 19-21, 21-15. In mixed doubles, Indonesia’s pair of Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto caused an upset by beating no.5 seeds Fischer Nielsen/Pedersen of Denmark 22-20 19-21 23-21.
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