As it happened - Toyota Thailand Open, Day 2: HS Prannoy advances, Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy out

The Indian rallied from a game down to beat Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie. Recap India's participation at Thailand Open.

By Naveen Peter ·

7:05 PM IST - HS Prannoy steals the show

What a day it has been for India. While Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun began the proceedings with a convincing win in their opening round of the men's doubles, HS Prannoy played out a dramatic match against world no. 7 Jonatan Christie for his 18-21, 21-16, 23-21 win.

The Indian giant-killer will be back tomorrow to take on Malaysia's Daren Liew in the second round. Also in action will be the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu, who will face another Malaysian Kisona Selvaduray.

Meanwhile, the men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will line up against seventh seeds Choi Solgyu and Seo Seung Jae of South Korea.

6:50 PM IST - B Sumeeth Reddy, N Sikki Reddy bow out

Things don't go as per plans for the Indians. B Summeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy are out of the Toyota Thailand Open following a hard-fought match against Hoo Pang Ron and Cheah Yee See of Malaysia.

While the Malaysians took the opening game, the Indian came back strong in the second to push the match into a decider.

But they were no match for the skilful Malaysians, losing the match in just under an hour.

Score: 14-21, 21-18, 13-21.

4:55 PM IST - B Sumeeth Reddy, N Sikki Reddy soon

The final match on Court 2 will see B Sumeeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy take on Hoo Pang Ron and Cheah Yee See of Malaysia in the first round of the mixed doubles at the Toyota Thailand Open.

This will be their first meeting at the international stage.

3:30 PM IST - HS Prannoy happy to post a win following COVID-19 scare

The past months have been anything but easy for India's HS Prannoy. From testing positive for COVID-19 to recovering and competing at the highest level, the Indian shuttler has put up a brave fight in testing circumstances.

He believes a win over world No. 7 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in the opening round of the Toyota Thailand Open was an apt reward for all his hard work.

Listen in as the 28-year-old Indian shares his thoughts on the match.

1:43 PM IST - Germans have the final say

The Indians fought well, but it was not to be as Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich came back strong in the latter half of the game to register a fine 21-11, 21-19 to move ahead at the Toyota Thailand Open. 

For the Indians, it's another opening-round loss.

Score: 11-21, 19-21

1:30 PM IST - Ponnappa-Reddy with a sizeable lead

What a turn around this has been. From being down and out in the opening game to sitting on an 11-6 lead at the mid-game interval of the second. 

The Indians have to ensure that build on this progress and close the game soon.

Score: 11-21, 11-6

1:20 PM IST - Efler and Herttrich with the first game

It's not working well for the Indians here. The German duo eases their way to a 21-11 win in the opening game.

The coordination seems off for Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy. They have played into the German's trap too often than not.

Score: 11-21

1:13 PM IST - Germans go ahead

Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich have made the most of their opportunities while the Indian pair has struggled to land their services well. 

Things need to change and change soon for Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy. 

Score: 7-11

1:05 PM IST - Ashwini-Sikki take court

We ain't done yet.

Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy are on the court for their first-round match against Germany's Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich.

1:00 PM IST - HS Prannoy playing with pain

It was all about staying in the match for HS Prannoy, who produced some fine badminton to down world No. 7 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in a thrilling opening-round match of the men's singles at the Toyota Thailand Open.

Here's what HS Prannoy had to say:

I’m proud of my win today. I haven’t practised the last few days and my rib was hurting. Probably there’s a muscle inflammation because I was coughing a lot when I had COVID-19. Today I just wanted to stay in there as there were no expectations. I had a fall when he had a match point and hurt my left shoulder. I felt it was dislocated but it went back into place. Right now it's ok but it might start hurting again after a while."

12:56 PM IST - HS Prannoy has the last laugh

The Indian giant-killer continues his streak and accounts for the world No. 7 this time.

HS Prannoy digs deep into his vast experience to find the edge that sees him through what's been nothing short a top-quality match.

The Indian had to save three match points, deal with a shoulder twitch before letting out a roar at the end.

What a match!

Score: 18-21, 21-16, 23-21

12:38 PM IST - HS Prannoy is up for a fight

HS Prannoy has competed like a wily old fox not willing to budge. 

In the decider, it was Jonatan Christie who raced ahead with the lead, but the Indian did ever so well to roar back into the match with some smart badminton. He leads 11-8.

Score: 18-21, 21-16, 11-8

12:25 PM IST - HS Prannoy is back in it

The Indian is on top of his game as he makes a fine comeback to take the second game 21-16. 

From managing the lead at the mid-game interval, there was no looking back for HS Prannoy as he stayed true to his style to poke and probe the Indonesian. 

The only time a match between these two went into a decider was at the 2018 Asian Games which Jonatan Christie won. Will the Indonesian repeat the heroics?

Score: 18-21, 21-16

12:18 PM IST - HS Prannoy counters

How interesting was that?

HS Prannoy was quick to surge ahead and take an 8-3 lead before Jonatan Christie decided to bounce back and rally in a fine manner to cut the difference.

But the 28-year-old Indian stays calm to enjoy the lead at the mid-game interval.

Score: 18-21, 11-8

Jonatan Christie has been the better of the two shuttlers so far. Photo: Badmintonphoto - Courtesy of BWF

12:05 PM IST - Jonatan Christie ekes ahead

The Indonesian, riding on an array of shot-making, takes the opening game.

Jonatan Christie was quick to assert his supremacy on the tie but HS Prannoy rode on his experience to cut the deficit. However, some unforced errors at crucial moments saw the Indian fall short.

Score: 18-21

11:50 AM IST - Jonatan Christie with the early advantage

HS Prannoy has done well to reduce the deficit after Jonatan Christie ran away with the early momentum. The Indonesian leads, but not by much.

HS Prannoy should back himself to take the fight to his younger opponent in the second half of this opening game.

Score: 9-11

11:30 AM IST - HS Prannoy all set

The Indian giant-killer is up next on court 2 for his opening round match against Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie.

The Olympic year hasn't been kind to HS Prannoy so far with a first-round loss at the Yonex Thailand Open last week. However, the 28-year-old is eyeing a turnaround at the IMPACT Arena today. 

Things look anything but easy for him with the reigning Asian Games gold medallist, Jonatan Christie, standing across the net. 

Christie enjoys a 3-2 head-to-head record against the Indian and was off to a flyer last week before losing out to the imposing Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the quarter-finals.

Don't go anywhere, this one promises to be an interesting one.

10:35 AM IST - Dhruv Kapila, MR Arjun ease through

The Indian pair put up a fine show to register a 23-21, 21-17 win over New Zealand's Oliver Leydon-Davis and Abhinav Manota in the first round of the Toyota Thailand Open. 

They will take on Ben Lane and Sean Vendy of England next who ousted the bronze medallists from the 2019 World Championships Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia in the opening round for the biggest win of their career so far.

England's Ben Lane and Sean Vendy registered a fine 21-18, 21-19 win over Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia. Photo: Badmintonphoto - Courtesy of BWF

10:00 AM IST - Young Indian shuttlers first up

Young India pair of Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun is the first to take the badminton court today. They are up against New Zealand's Oliver Leydon-Davis and Abhinav Manota.

The Indians haven't had the best of starts to their 2021, losing in the opening round of the Yonex Thailand Open last week.

Things have been no different for the Kiwis as they too couldn't go beyond the first round last week.

It's time for a brand new start.

9:30 AM IST - HS Prannoy to face Asian Games champion

A day after India’s Sameer Verma ousted eighth seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, India’s designated giant-killer HS Prannoy will hope to continue the trend when he takes on the reigning Asian Games gold medallist, Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, in the opening round.

The two have faced five times in their career so far, with the Indonesian enjoying a 3-2 advantage. Their last meeting dates back to the Indonesia Masters last year where Christie was a comfortable winner with a scoreline of 21-17, 21-14.

The 23-year-old Christie has started his Olympic year well with a quarter-final finish at the Yonex Thailand Open last week, where he lost to the eventual champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

However, for HS Prannoy, things don’t look rosy following an opening-round loss to Lee Zii Jia. It didn’t give him enough court time to gauge his game after the pandemic induced break.

It will be interesting to see how the Indian negotiates Christie, who’s known for his ability to cover the court well and often banks on his powerful shots to trouble the opponent.

The day will also see the women’s doubles pair for Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy beginning their Toyota Thailand Open campaign against Germans Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich.

Sikki Reddy will then return for her mixed doubles match alongside B Sumeeth Reddy as they take on Malaysia’s Hoo Pang Ron and Cheah Yee See while MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila will play their first-round men’s double match against New Zealand’s Oliver Leydon-Davis and Abhinav Manota.