Korea : In a thrilling display of badminton action at the Korea Open 2023, the Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty showcased their prowess by securing a spot in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, other Indian entries faced tough challenges and were unable to progress beyond the pre-quarterfinals, concluding India’s campaign in the men’s singles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles events.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the third seeds and currently ranked world No. 3, delivered a powerful performance against the 16th-ranked duo of He Jiting and Zhou Haodong from the Republic of China. The Indian pair emerged victorious with a convincing 21-17, 21-15 win in a fast-paced match that lasted 43 minutes. Their exceptional display earned them a spot in the quarterfinals, where they are set to face fifth seeds Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan on Friday.
On the other hand, the men’s singles category saw mixed results for the Indian players. HS Prannoy, the 31-year-old 10th-ranked player and seeded fifth at the Korea Open, faced a tough challenge against world No. 18 Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong. Despite putting up a spirited fight, Prannoy suffered a narrow defeat, with the match culminating in a thrilling scoreline of 21-15, 19-21, and 21-18 in favour of Lee Cheuk Yiu.
Meanwhile, Priyanshu Rajawat, the 21-year-old Indian badminton player ranked 32nd, demonstrated tremendous determination in his match against top seed and world No. 4 Kodai Naraoka of Japan. In a closely contested battle, Rajawat fought valiantly but ultimately lost the match 21-14, 18-21, and 21-17 after a gruelling hour and 22 minutes of intense play.
In the women’s doubles, the 19th-ranked duo of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly faced a formidable challenge against the second-seeded and world No. 2 pairing of Baek Ha-na and Lee So-hee from the Republic of Korea. Despite their best efforts, the Indian pair couldn’t overcome their opponents’ dominance and succumbed to a 21-11, 21-4 defeat in a 33-minute encounter.
The mixed doubles event also witnessed a setback for India, as the pair of Rohan Kapoor and N Sikki Reddy were unable to overcome the fourth seeds, Feng Yanzhe and Huang Dongping of China. The Indian duo fought hard but fell short, losing the match 21-15, 21-12, in 35 minutes.
In a notable upset, two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu was ousted in the opening round after a hard-fought battle against Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po.