Birmingham: Continuing their scintillating form, India’s young women’s doubles sensation Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly sailed into their second succussive semifinal of the All England Open Championships on Friday.
The Indians defeated China’s Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan Xuan after rallying from losing the second game to win 21-14, 18-21, 21-12 in the women’s doubles quarterfinals at the Axiata Arena.
Putting up a great fight
The world No 17 Indian pair had a major breakthrough in their career in the 2022 edition as they reached the semifinals after being promoted from the reserves, but lost to the Chinese pair Shu Xian Zhang and Yu Zheng in straight games after putting up a great fight.
Earlier in the tournament, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallists knocked out world No 9 Japanese pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in their round of 16 match on Thursday.
The teenage women’s doubles pair started their campaign with a 21-18, 21-14 straight games victory against seventh seeds Thai pair Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai, which was the Indians’ first win over the Thai pair in five meetings.
A place in maiden final
Next, Treesa and Gayatri will face either the eighth-seeded Indonesian pair of Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti or the Korean combination of Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee on Saturday for a place in their maiden final.
Notably, the young women’s pair is the only Indian challenge left in the tournament as the last year’s finalist Lakshay Sen, HS Prannoy, and Kidambi Srikanth, men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty bowed out after suffering losses in their respective second round matches on Thursday.
Last year’s runner-up Sen crashed out of the men’s singles event after losing to Anders Antonsen of Denmark in straight games at the Utilita Arena.
World No 19 Sen began the match on a positive note, but once the two shuttlers were tied at 11-11, two-time world championships medallist Antonsen upped the ante to win 10 of the next 12 points and go 1-0 up.
Sen, a world championships bronze medallist, mounted a comeback to lead Antonsen by six points at the second break. However, a series of consecutive points saw the Dane race ahead and take the match 21-13, 21-15 in 52 minutes.
Meanwhile, Shetty and Rankireddy lost to in-form Chinese shuttlers Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang 21-10, 17-21, 19-21 in the men’s doubles clash.
Other Indian players Prannoy, ranked ninth, and former world No 1 Srikanth also lost in their men’s singles round of 16 matches. Prannoy went down to world No 3 Indonesian shuttler Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 20-22, 21-15, 17-21. Srikanth, world No 22, suffered a 17-21, 15-21 defeat at the hands of world No 6 Japanese shuttler Kodai Naraoka.