Guwahati Masters Badminton: Karthikeya, Malvika Bansod, doubles combo Rao/Vardhan storm into quarter

Guwahati, Dec 7 (IANS): India’s Karthikeya Gulshan Kumar and Malvika Bansod came up with a clinical performance to advance to the next round in the Guwahati Masters Super 100 badminton tournament here on Thursday.

Karthikeya Gulshan Kumar upset fifth seed Mads Christophersen of Denmark in straight games to reach the men’s singles quarterfinals.

The Indian men’s doubles combination of Achutaditya Rao and Venkata Harsha Vardhan then proved their mettle with a 24-22, 23-21 win over fourth seeds Wei Chun Wei and Wu Guan Xun of Chinese Taipei.

Hariharan Amsakarunan and Ruban Kumar then saved two match points in the second game before packing off third seeds Pharanyu Kaosamaang and Worrapol Thongsa-Nga 16-21, 22-20, 21-16.

Also advancing to the last eight stage was Malvika Bansod, who got the better of compatriot Tanya Hemanth 21-13, 21-17.

But the performer of the day was undoubtedly Karthikeyan.

The 23-year-old had a gameplan of not letting his opponent, ranked 82 placed above him, get the opportunity to attack at the Sarusajai stadium here.

The opening game was a close affair with the lead changing numerous times till Karthikeya bagged five straight points to move from 12-15 down to 17-15. Christophersen did manage to draw the scores level at 17-17 but the Delhi-based Indian shuttler then went on the offensive to close the game.

Karthikeya was much more in control in the second game, not letting his Danish opponent have the lead at any stage of the game and wrapped things up 21-18, 21-15 in 36 minutes.

He will now face Malaysia’s Cheam June Wei, who defeated Subhankar Dey 21-15, 21-15 in the other third-round clash.

Speaking about his match, Karthikeya said he had studied Christophersen’s game and had come prepared. “His lifts were not going long enough while I could execute my plans perfectly,” he added.

In the women’s singles event, the up-and-coming Unnati Hooda bagged the opening game against third seed Sung Shou Yun of Chinese Taipei but went down 11-21, 21-15, 21-19.

Even fifth seed Aakarshi Kashyap and the talented Samiya Imad Farooqi put up a brave fight before going down in the pre-quarterfinals.

Kashyap saved four match points against Taipei’s Lin Sih Yun before losing the 63-minute encounter 21-17, 12-21, 22-20 while Samiya lost 21-15, 18-21, 21-13 against second seed Wen Chi Hsu of Taipei.

In the men’s singles category, none of the other Indians in action made it to the quarterfinals with national champion Mithun Manjunath, the experienced Sameer Verma and world junior bronze medallist Ayush Shetty were knocked out in the round of 16.

Later in the day, women’s doubles second seeds Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto moved into the quarters with a 21-13, 21-8 win over Hooda and Palak Arora.



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Title: Guwahati Masters Badminton: Karthikeya, Malvika Bansod, doubles combo Rao/Vardhan storm into quarter

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