Lakshya enters maiden quarters, Sindhu eases by

Birmingham, March 18

Lakshya Sen today became the youngest Indian male shuttler to reach the All England Championship quarterfinals, while Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu also eased into the last-8 stage of the Super 1000 tournament here. Sindhu, the reigning world champion, recorded a dominant 21-8 21-8 win over Denmark’s Line Christophersen in the second round.

Earlier, the 19-year-old Sen, who had claimed five titles in 2019, saw off France’s Thomas Rouxel 21-18 21-16.

Lakshya Sen beat France’s Thomas Rouxel. File

However, it was curtains for HS Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth after they lost in the men’s singles second round.

Sen, who had claimed the Asian junior championships title, the world junior championships bronze and the Youth Olympics silver in 2018, will next face Netherland’s world No. 36 Mark Caljouw. Sindhu will take on Japan’s third seed Akane Yamaguchi.

Prannoy couldn’t find his way past world No. 1 Kento Momota. The Japanese, who is playing his first event since the road accident that saw him undergo an eye surgery last year, won 21-15 21-14 in a 48-minute match. Praneeth squandered a first-game advantage before losing 15-21 21-12 21-12 to second seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Also ousted from the tournament was the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, who lost 21-19 21-9 to Japan’s Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo in the opening round.

Injured Saina out

On Wednesday night, former world No. 1 Saina Nehwal was forced to concede her opening women’s singles match after suffering an injury. Saina, who finished second best here in 2015, seemed to have some discomfort in her right thigh and decided to retire after lagging behind (8-21 4-10) in her opening round match against seventh seed Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark.

In men’s singles, Sameer Verma outlasted Brazil’s Ygor Coelho 21-11 21-19. In the mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy went down 15-21 17-21 to Denmark’s Rasmus Espersen and Christine Busch in the opening round. — TNS, agencies

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