Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were the only Indians left in the Swiss Open Super 300 main draw after PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth suffered second-round exits in Basel on Thursday.
The second-seeded male pairing of Satwik-Chirag edged out Chinese Taipei’s Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee (12-21 21-17 28-26). The Indians got off to a slow start in the first game, falling after being down 6-8 to lose it 12-21. It was reversed in the second game as SatChi took a 13-7 lead before their opponents battled back to trail 18-17 only for the Indians to rattle off three points and close out the game.
The Indians got off to a poor start in the decider, losing 3-9, but fought back as the two teams traded blows, with the score tied at 26-26 before the second seeds asserted the final two points. Satwik-Chirag will face Denmark’s Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Fourth-seeded Sindhu lost to 20-year-old Indonesian Putri Kusuma Wardani (15-21, 21-12, 18-21), who was part of the gold medal-winning team at the Asian Team Championships in 2022, in their second round match.
It was a seesaw battle as Sindhu lost the first game 15-21, before winning the second game 21-12 despite being tied 10-10. Sindhu struggled to get going in the third game, with Wardani taking a 15-6 lead, before fighting back to 20-18, but the youngster kept her nerve to win the game and the final point.
World No. 9 and fifth seed HS Prannoy suffered a second-round elimination from the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament after losing in back-to-back games against unseeded Christo Popov of France. Prannoy, the favorite entering the contest after defeating English Championship finalist Shi Yu Qi of China in the previous round, looked like a pale shadow of himself against world No. 40 Popov as who didn’t offer a fight, losing 8-21. , 8-21 and retiring from the men’s singles event.
Kidambi Srikanth was the first out on Thursday, losing to Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yiu Lee. It was a close match, but Lee kept his composure to emerge the winner 22-20, 21-17 in the singles pre-quarterfinal contest.
National champion Mithun Manjunath also withdrew in the second round, losing 19-21, 10-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Chia Hao Lee.