Indian shuttlers B. Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram reached the singles’ quarterfinals along with two women’s doubles pairs, including Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, in the $50,000 Canada Open Grand Prix badminton tournament in Calgary. The 22-year-old Praneeth, seeded 10, defeated Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne 14-21 21-15 21-15 in a 57-minute battle at the Markin MacPhail Centre.
The Hyderabad lad, who had risen five places to World No. 33 after reaching the semifinals of the US Open last week, will next take on two-time silver medallist and former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei.
Ninth seed Jayaram, who also rose a place to 32nd, prevailed over Indonesia’s Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo 21-12 17-21 21-12 in another hard-fought battle and will next meet top seed Marc Zwiebler of Germany.
Commonwealth silver-medallist Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, seeded 3rd, who reached the US Open semifinals Grand Prix Gold last week, eked out a 16-21 21-16 21-17 win over Netherlands’ Samantha Barning and Iris Tabeling.
The 2011 World Championship bronze medallist combo, who reached their career-best ranking of World No. 13 yesterday, will square up against Hong Kong pair of Chan Kaka Tsz Ka and Yuen Sin Ying next.
Another women’s doubles combo of Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy, who enjoyed success in the international series tournaments this year, beat fourth seeds Johanna Goliszewski and Carla Nelte of Germany 21-15 21-12. They will next face off against Hong Kong’s Poon Lok Yan and Tse Ying Suet.
Meanwhile, it was curtains for Anand Pawar and Tanvi Lad in the men’s and women’s singles competition.
While Tanvi fell to third seed and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Michelle Li of Canada 14-21 13-21, 11th seed Pawar lost to second seeded Chinese Xue Song 15-21 13-21 in a 39-minute match.
Rising men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who finished runners-up at US Open, could not cross the next hurdle and lost 19-21 19-21 to Jhe-Huei Lee and Yang Lee of Chinese Taipei.
India’s mixed doubles pair of Tarun Kona and N Sikki Reddy also ended their campaign with a 15-21 15-21 loss to top seeds Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels of Germany.