Rankireddy-Ponnappa upset Olympic silver medallists, Srikanth also progresses

India’s mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa on Wednesday recorded one of the biggest wins of their career, stunning Olympic silver medallists Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in the first round of Thailand Open.

The unseeded Indian pair battled for one hour and two minutes to get past the fifth seeded Malaysian pair of Soon and Ying 21-18 18-21 21-17.

It is only the second time that world number 23 Ponnappa and Rankireddy got the better of Soon and Ying, ranked 5th in the world. The Indian pair had defeated their Malaysian opponents in the mixed team event of Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year.

Ponnappa and Rankireddy will play Indonesia’s Alfian Eko Prasetya and Marsheilla Gischa Islami in the second round.

Fifth seed Kidambi Srikanth was made to toil hard for one hour and seven minutes by Chinese qualifier Ren Peng Bo before the Indian came out victorious 21-13 17-21 21-19.

Srikanth will be up against Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab in the second round.

But it was curtains for Sourabh Verma in the opening round. He fought hard for 64 minutes against seventh seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan before going down 21-23 21-19 5-21.

Lady luck smiled on Subhankar Dey as he was handed a walkover by top seed and world number 1 Kento Momota of Japan in his opening round contest.

In women’s singles, Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka was no match for China’s Chen Xiao Xin, losing 17-21 7-21 in the first round

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