Malaysia Masters: Prannoy upsets All-England champ on way to quarters; Sindhu has it easy

Kuala Lumpur, May 25 (IANS) India’s highest-ranked singles players, P.V Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Masters 2023 badminton championships with contrasting wins in their respective Round of 16 encounters in women’s and men’s singles respectively here on Thursday.

Prannoy, ranked 9th in the latest BWF Rankings, continued his brilliant run in the BWF World Tour Super 500 event in the Malaysian capital, stunning All England champion Li Shi Feng of China with a superb come-from-behind victory in three games on Court 1 at Axiata Arena here.

Prannoy, who had started his campaign here with a hard-fought 16-21, 21-14, 21-13 win against sixth-seeded Hou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei on Wednesday, defeated his Chinese opponent 13-21, 21-16, 21-11 in Round of 16. He will face Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in a last-8 encounter on Friday.

Double Olympic medallist Sindhu, the sixth seed here, had it a bit easy in the women’s singles pre-quarterfinals clash as she comfortably got the better of Aya Ohori of Japan 21-16, 21-11 in 40 minutes.

Sindhu, who won a silver in Rio Olympics in 2016 and followed that up with a bronze in Tokyo 2020, will lock horns with China’s Zhang Yi Man to book a spot in the semifinals.

Former World Championship silver and bronze medallists Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, are the other Indians to advance to pre-quarters in men’s singles and will be in action later in the day.

In women’s singles, India’s Aakarshi Kashyap, Asmita Chalia and Malvika Bansod crashed out in the opening round.

–IANS

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