Ponnappa-Reddy upset sixth seeds to enter 2nd round

Sakal Times
Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Considering the Chinese reached the quarter-finals of the All England Open and the semi-finals of the Swiss Open, this was a highly confidence-boosting victory for the Indian pair.

NEW DELHI: Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy caused a huge upset by knocking out the sixth seeds and World No. 18 pair of Li Wenmei and Zheng Yu 22-20, 21-19 to enter the second round of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2019-part of HSBC BWF World Tour 500, on Tuesday. 

Considering the Chinese reached the quarter-finals of the All England Open and the semi-finals of the Swiss Open, this was a highly confidence-boosting victory for the Indian pair.

The 23rd ranked Ponnappa and Reddy thus continue their good form a week after reaching the quarter-finals of the Swiss Open.

The Indians trailed the higher-ranked Chinese in both the games but managed to dig deep to get the win. Ashwini’s smashes helped the Indian duo get back on track after they went 16-18 in the first game. The Chinese looked in control of the second game until Ponnappa upped the intensity and Reddy complemented with her deft touches at the net.

The India No.1 pair attributed the success to the advice given by the newly-inducted doubles coaches, Flandy Limpele and Namrih Suroto. Working on their return of serves and patience made all the difference.

“The new coaches worked on our starting, we used to make a lot of mistakes on receiving. So focusing on serves and return of serves made a lot of difference. We didn’t hurry, we were ready for the shuttle and were patient today,” told Ponnappa.

KEY RESULTS:
Women’s doubles
Ponnappa and Reddy (Ind) bt Wenmei and Zheng (Chn) 22-20, 21-19; Polii and Rahayu (Ina) bt Chang and Yang (Tpe) 21-14, 21-15; Astrup and Rasmussen (Den) bt Grachev and Kotsarenko (Rus) 21-14, 21-14; Hoo and Yap (Mas) bt Kan and Zhong (USA) 21-6, 21-8; Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin (Tpe) bt Ivanov and Sozonov (Rus) 19-21, 23-21, 21-19; Huang and Zekang Wang (Chn) bt Arjun and Shlok 21-16, 21-18.

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