Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy stole the show at the Yonex Suffolk County Community College US Open last week as the Indian badminton doubles exponents reached their maiden Grand Prix Gold final. Here’s our weekly recap of Indian badminton.
Impressive show from the Indian badminton pair of Attri-Reddy
Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy stormed into the final by stunning the second and the fourth seeds at the US Open. In the second round, they faced the second-seeded pairing of Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata. The then World No. 26 duo held their nerves well to edge past the Japanese 21-18, 14-21, 21-19.
In the semi-finals, they had another tough proposition – fourth seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda. But the confident Indian duo came through that match 21-17, 21-17 to make the final.
However, it was the summit clash where the Indians stumbled as they succumbed to a 12-21, 16-21 defeat against the unseeded Chinese pair of Junhui Li and Yuchen Liu.
The young Indian pair might have lost but this performance will surely boost their confidence further as they aim for higher challenges on the circuit.
Jwala-Ashwini made the semis
Former World Championships bronze medalists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa too played well to reach the women’s doubles semis. After a couple of easy victories, their run came to an end at the hands of the unseeded Japanese duo of Ayane Kurihara and Naru Shinoya in the last-four stage. Jwala and Ashwini lost 17-21, 11-21.
Sai Praneeth was the sole Indian to reach the men’s singles semis
16th seeded B Sai Praneeth was the only Indian to enter the men’s singles semis. Sai Praneeth, who began with smooth wins over Nicholas Robert Henson Waller and Christian Lind Thomsen, had a three-game win over Huang Yuxiang to reach the quarters.
In the quarters, he upset 12th seeded Ng Ka Long Angus to enter the last-four stage. However, he bowed out in the semis to former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei 9-21, 17-21.
Among the other Indian shuttlers, 14th seeded Ajay Jayaram crashed out to the top seed Chou Tien Chen in the third round. RMV Gurusaidutt, who beat compatriot Anand Pawar in a hard-fought second round encounter, lost in the third round to ninth seed Takuma Ueda.
RMV Gurusaidutt and B Sai Praneeth were the biggest movers amongst the Indian badminton players in the latest BWF World rankings. While the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Gurusaidutt gained 15 places to be ranked 44th, Sai Praneeth jumped five spots to be placed at 33rd. Ajay Jayaram too gained one place to be ranked 32nd.
The top shuttlers, meanwhile, remained static. Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy held on to their 3rd, 10th and 12th positions respectively.
In women’s singles, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu held on to their 2nd and 14th spots respectively.
In men’s doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy reached their highest ranking of 24 after a stupendous show at the US Open Grand Prix Gold.
The women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa also climbed 2 spots to be placed at a career-best 13th in the latest rankings.