PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth & HS Prannoy through to the quarterfinals at the Indonesia Masters.
The world no.32 HS Prannoy knocked out the world no.2 Viktor Axelsen on day 3 at the BWF World Tour Super 750. This was the first time Prannoy has managed to beat Viktor at a major event. On the previous two occasions, the Indian could not even manage to win one game.
Going into the Indonesia Masters, Viktor, alongside Kento Momota, was only the other favorite to win the Super 750 event.
The Tokyo Olympics gold medalist was coming off a long break, looked in good shape in his first-round match against Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu. Viktor beat Lee in straight games 21-10, 21-14. It was a one-sided affair as the Dane dominated the match with his fast-paced game.
In the second round, Viktor started well as he took the first game, 21-14 with ease. The second game was also in favor of the world no. 2, who raced off to a 15-10 lead. The Indian fought back five straight points on two occasions and edged past Viktor 21-19 and leveled the match one game all.
The third game too was in favor of Viktor as the Denmark Champion led 11-7 at the mid-game interval. But again the resilient Indian fought back scraping two points at a time. Prannoy annoyed Viktor with long rallies which made it difficult for the world no. 2 to recover between the points. Prannoy steadily built up the lead and took the third game 21-16.
Viktor Axelsen is the only player who has featured in ten finals of the previous eleven tournaments he has played in. The French Open (where he got retired hurt in the opening round) is the only tournament the big Dane could not manage to feature in the finals.
On day 4, HS Prannoy will play against fellow Indian, former world no.1 Kidambi Srikanth. Head-to-head Prannoy trails Srikanth 2-4. It will be interesting to see if Prannoy can manage to close this lead.
K Srikanth too had a challenging match against homeboy Jonatan Christie. Similar to Prannoy’s match Srikanth too came back from one game down to win the match against the world no. 6, 13-21, 21-18, 21-15.
PV Sindhu, India’s only women’s singles player at the Indonesia Masters, will take on Turkey’s world no. 30 Neslihan Yigit in the women’s quarterfinals.