World No 1 Lee Chong Wei finally arrived in the city yesterday and is expected to play for Mumbai Masters against Delhi Smashers tomorrow. He missed the first two matches. In his absence, the Masters beat Banga Beats and then lost to Pune Pistons.
Chong Wei had postponed his travel plans on two previous occasions owing to the injury he sustained in the final of the World Championships recently. He had retired from the summit clash with cramps against Chinese legend Lin Dan in Guangzhou and has not been in top physical shape since then.
Meanwhile, Ashwini Ponnappa and her mixed doubles partner Joachim Fischer raised their game under pressure to guide Pune to a 3-2 win over Mumbai in a see-saw encounter on Saturday.
The two teams were locked 2-2 after four matches before Ponnappa and Fischer sealed it for Pune. “It’s a happy feeling to sit on the top on the points tally table. Initially we both were not very strong but then we fought hard and won,” Ponnappa said. Ponnappa and Fischer defeated Pranav Chopra and Sikki Reddy 21-20 21-13.
Hyderabad Hotshots’ Mumbai lad Ajay Jayaram at the venue in Worli, yesterday. The Indian Badminton League’s (IBL) focus now shifts to Mumbai after New Delhi and Lucknow