A week after Kidambi Srikanth’s Swiss Open triumph, Indian shuttlers continued to win in the international circuit. N Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre who are now ranked 49 in the current World Rankings, emerged victorious in women’s doubles at the Polish Open last week.
Two titles in two consecutive weeks for Sikki Reddy
The 21-year-old Sikki Reddy is currently enjoying a rich vein of form. This is Reddy’s second title in as many weeks as she scooped up the Romanian International mixed doubles title just the week before, partnering Tarun Kona. The Hyderabadi shuttler had also annexed the Uganda International women’s doubles and mixed doubles crowns in February, besides winning the National Championships and the National Games as well.
At last week’s Polish Open, Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre upset the third seeds Ekaterina Bolotova/Evgeniya Kosetskaya 22-20, 27-25 in the last-four stage. In the final, they produced a brilliant performance to stun the fourth seeds Alex Bruce/Phyllis Chan 21-16, 21-18 and take the title.
Gadre/Dewalkar lose mixed doubles final
Maharashtra shuttler Pradnya Gadre had a chance to make it a double delight in Poland. But, unfortunately the Indian duo of Gadre and Akshay Dewalkar were edged out 26-28, 18-21 by Malaysians Peng Soon Chan/Liu Ying Goh in the mixed doubles final.
Dewalkar had earlier lost in the men’s doubles quarter-finals, partnering Pranaav Jerry Chopra. The fourth seeds went down 21-23, 16-21 to Japanese pair of Takuto Inoue/Yuki Kaneko.
In men’s singles, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt crashed out in the quarters. Gurusaidutt lost 21-14, 12-21, 17-21 to Ihsan Maulana Mustofa of Indonesia.
Sudirman Cup: India handed a tough group
The biennial World Mixed Team Badminton Championships – the Sudirman Cup will be held this year in China from May 10th to 17th. India has their task cut out as they are placed in Group 1D along with three-time winners South Korea and Malaysia.
Each round consists of five matches – men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
In this competition, the top 12 teams in Group 1 are divided into four sub-groups. After the group playoff, the top 2 teams from each sub-group will advance to the knock-out stage.
Meanwhile, nine-time champions China have a relatively easier job as they are grouped with Thailand and Germany.
The draw: Group 1: Group 1A: China, Thailand, Germany; 1B: Japan, Chinese Taipei, Russia; 1C: Denmark, Indonesia, England; 1D: Korea, India, Malaysia.
Rankings Update :
Ajay Jayaram was the biggest mover in the men’s singles rankings. After a semi-final appearance at the Swiss Open, Jayaram jumped eight places to be ranked 35th.
Among the others in men’s singles rankings, Parupalli Kashyap dropped a place to be ranked 13th. Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy, meanwhile, held on to their 4th and 17th spots respectively.
In women’s singles, Saina Nehwal remained at the 2nd spot while PV Sindhu also held on to her 9th ranking. View the latest rankings here.
This week: India Open
This is an exciting week for all Indian badminton fans as the 5th edition of the $275,000 India Open Superseries will be held at the Siri Fort Complex in New Delhi. All eyes will be on Saina Nehwal as she aims for the World No. 1 ranking which will be a momentous occasion in Indian sports. However, Saina can get some stiff challenge from the All England Open winner Carolina Marin.
The singles draw will see the debut of Chinese superstar Lin Dan. The two-time Olympic gold medallist will get some tough competition from the Indian brigade spearheaded by Kidambi Srikanth. Parupalli Kashyap, HS Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram too look to progress deep into the draw.
In women’s doubles, Indian hopes rest on the shoulders of Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy/Pradnya Gadre. While in men’s doubles, the top two Indian pairs – Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar are our best bets.