Indian men and women beat Singapore to quarters

Hyderabad: India yesterday began their campaign Badminton Asia Team Championships in style with both men's and women's teams posting victories against their Singapore rivals to make it to the quarterfinals.

Indian men made a clean sweep of their five-match tie against Singapore, who had lost to China two days ago. India, China and Singapore are part of Group A. Despite the absence of star player Saina Nehwal, the Indian women registered a comprehensive 5-0 win against Singapore and also entered the quarter finals as the Singapore team lost to Japan earlier.

Each tie comprises three singles and two doubles matches. India's rising shuttler Srikanth scored a comfortable 21-16, 12-21, 21-13 win over his Singapore rival Zi Liang Derek Wong in the first Singles match. The Singaporean tried to make matters difficult for Srikanth, but the world number nine bounced back to have the
last laugh.

It was almost a one-sided affair for Ajay Jayaram in the second singles against Singapore's Kean Yew Loh as he went on to score a 21-11, 21-18 victory. The 27-ranked HS Prannoy too dominated his Singles match against Zin Rei Ryan NG and clinched a 21-10, 21-12 win. India's doubles players too came up with an attractive
performance and won the two doubles matches in the tie. Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy beat Yong Kai Terry Hee-Kean Yew Loh 21-15, 21-14.

The other doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Akshay Dewalkar trounced Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Hendra Wijaya 21-14, 21-13 in the second doubles. In the women's category, India's PV Sindhu, who is now ranked 12 in BWF world rankings, gave a headstart to India's campaign with a 21-17, 21-11 win against Singapore's Xiaoyu

The Singapore shuttler, ranked 42, put up a competitive show in the first game of the match, but Sindhu had it easy in the second game. Sindhu, who demonstrated great energy on the court, came up with some delectable shots to clinch the match in her favour.

PC Thulasi, ranked 111, too had a great day in office with a comfortable 21-16, 21-7 win against a low-ranked Hui Zhen Grace Chua in the second singles match. India's national champion in badminton Ruthivika Shivani Gadde, who is ranked 131, did not have to sweat out much either to tame her Singapore rival Jia Min Yeo in the other
singles match.

India's famed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa too proved their mettle with a comfortable 21-18, 21-16 victory over Shinta Mulia Sari-Wei Han Tan. Sindhu played in the doubles match as well in the company of Sikki Reddy and the duo trounced their Singapore rivals of Jia Ming Crystal Wong-Jia Min Yeo 21-8, 21-14 to make it a clean sweep.

Expressing happiness after the win, Srikanth hoped to continue his form in the forthcoming matches, including those against China. "I am very happy to have won the match against Zi Liang Derek Wong of Singapore and I am sure to maintain this form for the other ties with China. I am also happy that our team has won against Singapore 5¿0 and I am sure team India will perform well in the other matches also," Srikanth said.

The doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B also expressed confidence that their team would continue carry on the momentum. "Playing in the home court is always an advantage and getting the first 11 points was quite comfortable. We are sure team India will maintain the winning streak," they said.

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