Indonesia Masters: Prannoy stuns Olympic champ Victor Axelsen
Sindhu, Srikanth reach last 8
Bali: Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy registered similar come-from-behind victories in their respective events to advance to the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Masters Super 750 badminton tournament here on Thursday. The highlight of the day was Prannoy's stunning 14-21 21-19 21-16 upset victory over Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Victor Axelsen in a tense one hour 11 minutes battle in the the men's singles second round. Down and out in the first game, Prannoy made a sensational recovery to first level the match and then eke out a memorable win against the world no 2.
This was Prannoy's first victory in six attempts against Axelsen. With the win, the world no 32 Indian shuttler becomes the first player to beat the Dane in full a match since March. In the women's singles, reining wold champion Sindhu, who is seeded third, took 47 minutes to record a 17-21 21-7 21-12 win over Spain's Clara Azurmendi.
Playing against the world no 47 Azurmendi for the first time, Sindhu went down in the first game before putting up a dominant performance in the next two games to register a brilliant victory. The two-time Olympic medallist will now lock horns with world no 30 unseeded Turkish shuttler Neslihan Yigit in the quarterfinals. Sindhu has a 3-0 head-to-head record against the Turkish.
On the other hand, former world no 1 Srikanth, dispatched Indonesia's sixth seed Jonatan Christie 13-21 21-18 21-15 in one hour two minutes in the men's singles second round fixture. The unseeded Srikanth, who had claimed the Indonesia Open Super Series premier in 2017 at Jakarta, will take on Prannoy in the quarterfinals. However, it was curtains for young Lakshya Sen the men's singles event and the mixed doubles pairing of Dhruv Kapila and N Sikki Reddy.
Women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy also crashed out of the event in the second round third seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 18-21 12-21.