India’s Kidambi Srikanth has continued to show his top form, booking a quarterfinals berth in what promises to be the most exciting day of competition yet at the Crown Group Australian Badminton Open.
Kidambi Srikanth faced world number 1 Son Wan Ho of Korea in a rematch of their semi-final from the Indonesia Open last week where Srikanth won in a nail-biting three-game finish, before going on to win the SuperSeries event.
“My opponent Son Wan Ho is somebody who keeps the rally going and going and doesn't attack right away,” Srikanth said.
“The choices available to me are to be steadier than him or full on attack. I gave away an early lead in the first game. In the second and third, I took my chances. Winning these kinds of matches against other top players helps me get my confidence back. I always felt I was an aggressive player but this is encouraging."
In 2014/15, Sikranth was one of the fastest improving players on the circuit, shooting to world number 3. Dropping off the radar, and out of the top 10 in recent years, it would appear that the Indian star is back with vigour. Runner up at the Singapore SuperSeries and winner at Indonesian, all eyes will be on him in the coming days to see what he will achieve.
India’s Sai Praneeth B was also victorious in his match up against Huang Yuxiang of China, meaning that an all-Indian quarter-final will take place tomorrow.
Dual Olympic Champion Lin Dan progressed through to the quarter-finals after a 21-14 21-19 win over Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie.
"I played pretty well in the first game but was affected early in the second by the umpiring. My plan was to take the match 2-0 in games. After the second game interval, I was back to my normal playing self. Overall, I consider it an okay performance, " Dan said.
In what will be a thrilling quarter-finals match up, he will face Chen Long, the 2016 Olympic Champion who earlier in the day defeated Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia.
After knocking out Carolina Marin yesterday, Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara continued her winning form, emphatically defeating her compatriot Minatsu Mitani 21-21 21-10. The Indian singles players PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal both found success in their respective matches, and world number 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Korea eased into the quarter-finals in straight sets.
The match of the day in the men’s doubles saw a tight three-game tussle stretching the athletes to their limits. Korea’s Kim Dukyoung added to his earlier success in the day in the mixed doubles by joining Choi Solgyu, also a mixed specialist. The new pairing proved successful as they took down Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe of Japan 21-15 11-21 22-20.
In an all-Chinese match-up, Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan defeated Huang Kaixiang and Wang Yilyu in two games, 21-16 21-14. Australians HD Tang and Cham Chen were unable to continue their winning form, going down to Japan’s Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko 21-8 21-10.
After a walkover yesterday, the Australian pairing of Celeste Lee and Chloe Lee progressed through to today’s Round of 16 where they met Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China. For the unseeded Aussies to meet the Chinese team ranked fourth in the world, it was always going to be a tough ask, going down 21-6 21-7 but the experience will help the sisters with their future competition.
The Indian pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and Reddy N Sikki almost provided an exciting upset when they took a set from Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto, eventually ending the match 18-21 21-18 21-13.
Husband and wife duo Chris and Gabby Adcock won through to quarter-finals of the mixed doubles, despite dropping a game to their opponents, Choi Solgyu and Chae Yoo Jung of Korea (21-14 17-21 21-18). The English pair will now meet Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping of China in the quarter-final.
The new Korean combination of Kim Dukyoung and Kim Ha Na enjoyed a smooth run to their quarter-finals berth, defeating Hong Kong’s Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet.
"A big plus about my new partner is he is a lot younger than the previous two,” Kim Ha Na said. “The 2014 Australian Open was my first mixed doubles SuperSeries so I have fond memories of coming here."
Competition continues tomorrow, Friday 23 June, with the quarter-finals. For all the schedule, draw and results, go to: http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=F0D1C54B-EF2E-4ED7-8E0F-2139EF1FB98E