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Sindhu, Srikanth, Treesa-Gayatri in PQF; Lakshya knocked out

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Dubai, April 26 (PTI): On a day star shutter Lakshya Sen made a first-round exit, double Olympic medalist PV Sindhu and veteran Kidambi Srikanth began with easy wins to advance into the pre-quarterfinals of the Asia Badminton Championship, here on Wednesday.

Commonwealth Games bronze medal-winning women’s doubles pair Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand also kept the Indian flag high by making the last-16.

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Fresh from finishing runner-up at the Madrid Spain Masters, the former world champion, Sindhu defeated wen Chi Hsu 21-15, 22-20 in a 46-minute affair in the women’s singles.

Trailing 11-14 in the first game, the world No 11 Indian, who is on a comeback trail after a long injury lay-off, reeled off nine points in a row to take a lead.

In the second game, the Taipei shuttler gave some fight but Sindhu led 11-7 at the break before sealing the issue.

Sindhu will face World No 9 Han Yue of China in the pre-quarters.

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Former World Championship silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth took 25 minutes to see off his first-round opponent Adnan Ebrahim 21-13 21-8. He will face world No 5 Kodai Naraoka in the men’s singles last-16.

Treesa and Gayatri duo roared back from behind to defeat Indonesia’s Lanny Tria Mayasari and Ribka Sugiarto 17-21, 21-17, 21-18 in a battle lasting more than an hour.

After losing the first game tamely, the Indian duo put up a dominant display in the second and began with a 5-0 lead. They maintained their lead through out to force a decider.

The third game turned out to be an intense battle with Treesa and Gayatri trailing 15-16 against the Indonesian pair.

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They were then locked at 18-all when an aggressive Treesa came up with a powerful cross-court smash before the Indian duo sealed the issue in 64 minutes.

Mixed pair duo of Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy also won their opening round match when they defeated Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See of Malaysia 21-12, 21-16.

Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sen, who took a short break to focus on his mental and physical health, was eliminated by world number 7 Loh Kean Yew in a 7-21, 21-23 loss.

Having plummeted to 24th spot in the BWF rankings, Sen got a tough draw as he was pitted against former world champion and world No 7.

The Singaporean, who had lost to Sen in their last exchange in the Indian Open final last year, showed swift court movements to race to a 21-7 lead.

But Sen returned stronger in the second game and was two points behind at the break.

From thereon the duo exchanged some rallies and Sen had a chance to level when he got a game point at 20-19 but Loh closed out the match in 45 minutes.

Up against world number one Akane Yamaguchi, promising Malavika Bansod stretched the star player before going down 23-25, 19-21 in a 46-minute battle.

Results (Indians only)

Men’s Singles: Lakshya Sen lost to Loh Kean Yew (Singapore) 7-21, 21-23.

Men’s Doubles: Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala lost to Takuro Hoki and Yog Kobayashi (Japan) 15-21, 17-21; PS Ravikrishna and Sankar Prasad Udayakumar lost to Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee (Malaysia) 12-21, 17-21.

Women Singles: Malvika Bansod lost to Akane Yamaguchi (Japan) 23-25, 19-21; Akarshi Kashyap lost to Komang Ayu Cahya Dewi (Indonesia) 6-21, 12-21.

Women Doubles: Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam lost to Meilysa Trias Puspitasari and Rachel Allessya Rose (Indonesia) 20-22, 12-21, 18-21; Haritha Manazhiyil and Ashna Roy lost to Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai (Thailand) 11-21, 2-21.

Mixed Doubles: Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy b Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See (Malyasia) 21-12, 21-16.

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