After two days of Round of 32 matches, the third day was all-about the pre-quarterfinals. The last 16 players in each category battled it out at four courts of the Babu Banarasi Indoor Stadium, Lucknow for a place in the quarterfinals. While top seed PV Sindhu easily sailed to the last-eight stage, HS Prannoy had to sweat hard for the quarterfinals berth. Meanwhile, youngsters Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod also secured a place for themselves in the quarterfinals of the Super 300 tournament.
Two-time Olympic medalist Sindhu just took 33 minutes to knock down her American opponent Lauren Lam. Sindhu defeated Lam 21-16, 21-13 in straight games to book herself a quarterfinals berth. The former world champion will now take on sixth-seeded Thai shuttler Supamida Katethong in the Round of 8 game. Sindhu will seek revenge for the India Open semifinal defeat against Katethong when she faces her on Friday.
The four other quarterfinalists in the Women’s singles category are Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod, Anupama Upadhyay, and Samiya Imad Farooqui. While Akarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod will be up against each other, Samiya and Anupama will also battle it out for the semifinal spot on Friday. In the pre-quarters, Aakarshi defeated compatriot Utthejitha Rao 21-9, 21-6 while Malvika defeated India’s Prerana Neeluri 21-10, 21-8 in just 27 minutes.
HS Prannoy set up against Arnaud Merkle
In the Men’s singles category, HS Prannoy had to toil hard against compatriot Priyanshu Rajawat in a match that lasted for 64 minutes. Nonetheless, the fifth seed Prannoy prevailed 21-11, 16-21, 21-18 and sailed through to the quarterfinals. He will now face France’s Arnauld Merkle, who ended India’s Kartikey Gulshan Kumar’s campaign with a 21-8, 21-12 win in another second-round match.
In other men’s singles matches, Mithun Manjunath fought for an hour and 20 minutes before prevailing 16-21, 21-16, 23-21 against Malaysia’s Soong Joo Ven but it was curtains for Chirag Sen, Kaushal Dharmamer, and Raghu Mariswamy. While Russia’s Sergey Sirant quelled Chirag’s challenge 18-21, 22-20, 21-12, Kushal lost 16-21, 13-21 to Cheam June Wei of Malaysia, and Raghu went down 9-21, 9-21 to Lucas Claerbout of France. Mithun will now face Sergey in the quarterfinals.
In the men’s doubles category, the fourth-seeded pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila also reached the quarterfinals after getting a walkover from compatriots Ayush Makhija and Venkat Gaurav Prasad. Meanwhile, in the women’s doubles category, the seventh-seeded pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Chand Pullela advanced to the next round after beating Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker. They will now face the Russian pair of Anastasiia Akchurina and Olga Morozova.
Seventh-seeded pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto will be up against compatriot pair of Ashith Surya and Pranjal Prabhu Chimulkar in the Mixed Doubles category.