As it happened - Toyota Thailand Open 2021, Day 4: PV Sindhu bows out, doubles teams make semis

Reigning world champion PV Sindhu fell short of her target while the men's and the mixed doubles teams qualified for last four. Re-live the action here from the Thailand Open.

By Naveen Peter ·

6:40 PM IST - Mixed day for Indian shuttlers

That brings us to the end of today's action at the Toyota Thailand Open.

It's been a mixed day for India. While a lot was expected from world champion PV Sindhu, she couldn't live up to the expectations and bowed out of the competition following a straight-games loss to Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon.

Also falling short of making the last four was Sameer Verma, who put up a brave show before losing out to the third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark.

In the doubles segment, both Indian pairs produced fine performances to book their places in the semi-final tomorrow.

In the mixed doubles, while Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa beat the Olympic silver medallists Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh of Malaysia, in the men's doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy paired up with Chirag Shetty to down another Malaysian pair, Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.

6:27 PM IST - Chirag-Satwik qualify for semis

Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy make it to semis

The Indian pair bring their best to the fore to beat Malaysia's Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi to make it to their second straight semi-finals at the Thailand Open.

Score: 21-18, 24-22

5:20 PM IST - Just not her day, says Sindhu

It wasn't a performance befitting of a world champion and PV Sindhu was gracious enough in her defeat to admit that she committed a number of errors.

I think I made a lot of unforced errors and I think that I gave away easy points. I didn't play my best today. It wasn't my day. Some of my lifts were going out and going out of control. I was hitting with so much power sometimes. I should have controlled things a lot more. Intanon is a great player and I was prepared for that. I was responding to all her strokes, but I was making mistakes. If I had won the first game, I think things would have been comparatively different." - PV Sindhu

5:16 PM IST - Ong Yew Sin, Teo Ee Yi stay ahead

They start the second game in a similar way to the first and are ahead once again.

But the Malaysian will know they can't afford to take their foot off the pedal against the Indians.

Score: 21-18, 8-11

6:05 PM IST - Chirag-Satwik draw first blood

Some calm and calculated badminton from the Indian duo. Trailing for the most part of the game, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy mount a quality comeback to take the opening game 21-18. 

It's all about carrying on this momentum from here on. But, seeing the manner in which the Malaysians have approached the match, it will be anything but easy. 

Score: 21-18

5:55 PM IST - Ong Yew Sin, Teo Ee Yi with the early lead

A firey start to this contest. 

Both the pairs have been relentless in their pursuit with the Malaysians holding a slender lead. 

Score: 9-11

5:41 PM IST - Chirag-Satwik look for a place in semis

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is back on the court, this time for his men's doubles tie with Chirag Shetty. They are up against the Malaysian duo of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.

The Indians are looking to defend their Thailand Open title from 2019.

5:38 PM IST - PV Sindhu falls short

It's been that sort of a day for PV Sindhu where anything she tried didn't work out.

The reigning world champion is out of the Toyota Thailand Open following a straight-games loss to Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon.

It remains to be a seen if a quarter-final appearance here will be enough for her to sneak into the BWF World Tour Finals next week.

Score: 13-21, 9-21

5:29 PM IST - Ratchanok Intanon builds on

PV Sindhu has been all over the place in this second game. Not what you expect from the reigning world champion.

The Indian ace needs to do much better if she has to challenge Ratchanok Intanon.

Score: 13-21, 4-11

5:21 PM IST - Ratchanok Intanon in cruise mode

The Thai ace has barely put a foot wrong and not surprisingly leads the match 1-0.

Ratchanok Intanon was on a run of eight straight points that saw her race ahead to take the opening game against PV Sindhu in no time.

Score: 21-13

5:16 PM IST - Sameer Verma looks back on a close loss

Looking back, it was a tight match and Sameer Verma thinks he could have nicked it on his day.

In the first game, I wasn't feeling that confident. I thought I played really well in the second and third game and I tried my best. I was leading in the final game and got to match point, but I couldn't capitalise. I think Antonsen has been playing very well, like today. I really tried my best." - Sameer Verma

But for now, back to the badminton court.

5:10 PM IST - Ratchanok Intanon with the early advantage

The local favourite is on top of the game in these early exchanges.

Ratchanok Intanon has controlled the game and enjoys a four-point lead at the break. PV Sindhu needs to up her game to stay with the Thai.

Score: 7-11

4:55 PM IST - It's Sindhu vs Intanon

After a thrilling men's singles quarter-finals, it' time for the Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu to take on local favourite Ratchanok Intanon in the women's singles.

This promises to be an exciting tie. Stay tuned.

4:50 PM IST - Sameer Verma bows out

What an extraordinary match!

Sameer Verma threw everything he had but it wasn't enough as the world No. 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark records a three-game win to move into the semi-finals of the Toyota Thailand Open.

At one point, he looked dead and buried, but the 26-year-old Indian did well to raise his game and match his higher-ranked opponent stride-for-stride. But it wasn't enough on the day.

Score: 13-21, 21-19, 20-22

4:30 PM IST - Sameer Verma with the lead

This one's a close one to call.

Sameer Verma is doing everything he can to stay with Anders Antonsen in this decider. The world No. 3 Dane, meanwhile, has had a topsy-turvy run with unforced errors creeping into his game. Just three points separating the two.

Score: 13-21, 21-19, 11-8

4:19 PM IST - Sameer Verma rallies well

Sameer Verma is well and truly back in it. 

He bruised his fingers mid-way through the game but that hasn't stopped Sameer Verma from taking the fight to the higher-ranked Dane.

It's 1-1.

Score: 13-21, 21-19

4:01 PM IST - Anders Antonsen sneaks ahead, yet again

The world No. 3 Dane is on top once again, but this time, not by much.

Anders Antonsen has been a bit slow -- probably still recovering from the COVID-19 bout last month -- and Sameer Verma has done enough to punish his opponent and stay in the game so far.

Score: 13-21, 10-11

3: 49 PM IST - Anders Antonsen surges ahead

The Dane is in a fine mood and it's reflecting in the manner he has played this opening game.

Anders Antonsen has dictated the game with his smart shot selection and has often kept Sameer Verma guessing. The Indian shuttler will need something special to halt this run.

Score: 13-21

3:37 PM IST - Anders Antonsen with a bright start

The Dane, third seed, is off to a flyer in this contest.

Anders Antonsen has been fluid in his movements on the court, retrieving everything that Sameer Verma is throwing at him and finishing his points with some powerful drives.

Score: 5-11

3:25 PM IST: It's Sameer Verma time

The shuttlers are out on the court. Live action, just moments away.

2:30 PM IST - All eyes on Sameer Verma

Indian youngster Sameer Verma takes to the court in some time for his last-four match against the third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark.

If Sameer Verma's form at the Thailand Open is anything to go by, we are in for an exciting match here.

Keep an eye out on this space for all the updates.

1:45 PM IST - Ashwini Ponnappa commends her junior partner

Senior pro Ashwini Ponnappa has spared no opportunity to lavish praise on young partner Satwiksairaj Rankireddy for staying calm under relentless pressure and helping them see the match through.

Listen in.

12:20 PM IST - Ashwini-Satwik with a Houdini act

What an escape that's been. From saving three match points in the second game and then another one in the third, Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have ousted the fifth seeds Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying.

This should go down as one of the best performances by the Indian pair.

The Malaysians kept the pressure throughout the match, but the Indian duo didn't budge and mounted what's nothing short of a great comeback.

"We played really well in the end. We have played them three times. We have won twice and lost once. We were confident. We knew our main strength would be our attack. They were under pressure. We kept fighting. We had our chances and never messed up." - Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

Score: 18-21, 24-22, 22-20

12:03 PM IST - Chan and Goh stay ahead, yet again

There's no way stopping the fifth seeds from taking the lead at the mid-game interval.

Can Ashwini and Satwiksairaj conjure something special here?

Score: 18-21, 24-22, 9-11

12:00 PM IST - Goh Liu Ying in for some medical attention

The Malaysian seems to have pulled her back and the doctor is on the court. How much will this restrict her in this match?

Score: 18-21, 24-22, 8-8

11:48 AM IST - Ashwini, Satwik stay alive

That's some fightback!

From 13-18 down to win the game 24-22, the Indian pair has rallied in a fine manner to take the second game.

We are going into the decider. Don't go anywhere.

Score: 18-21, 24-22

The Malaysians Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying are running away with this. Photo: Badmintonphoto - Courtesy of BWF

11:30 AM IST - Malaysia's Chan and Goh build on

The Malaysians are racing away here.

Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying have punished the Indian pair for their mistakes and deservedly lead the second game 11-9 at the mid-game interval.

Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will have to raise their games if they are to challenge the fifth seeds.

Score: 18-21, 9-11

11:20 AM IST - Chan and Goh take the first game

For a while, it looked like the Indians would clinch this humdinger of a game, but the fifth seeds stay calm to see it through and take a 1-0 lead in this quarter-final tie.

A crucial lead this in what's been a close match so far.

Score: 18-21

11:08 AM IST - Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying with early lead

The Malaysians are ahead in this early hour of the match, but not by much.

Ashwini and Satwiksairaj have done well to stay within touching distance of the fifth seeds. But they will need to shift gears.

Score: 8-11

10:57 AM IST - Ashwini Ponnappa, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy first up

We begin the day with a mixed doubles tie where Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa are up against fifth seeds Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia.

The two pairs have played four times in the past and share a 2-2 head-to-head record. The last time they faced off was at this very event in 2019 where the Indians emerged victorious in a three-game match.

Will we see a repeat of that performance?

8:00 AM IST - Eyes on semis for PV Sindhu, Satwik-Chirag

It’s the business end of the competition with top Indian shuttlers like PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa looking to make the semi-final grade at the Toyota Thailand Open today.

But the journey will be anything but easy with each facing some stiff competition at the IMPACT Arena.

The silver medallist from the 2016 Rio Olympics, PV Sindhu, is up against an old nemesis and local favourite Ratchanok Intanon in the women’s singles while Sameer Verma is set to take on the world No. 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark.

Ratchanok Intanon beat South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in a tiring three-game match to make it to the quarter-finals. Photo: Badmintonphoto - Courtesy of BWF

PV Sindhu has faced Intanon eight times in her career with the shuttlers sharing a 4-4 head-to-head record. While their matches have been close, the Indian ace can take heart from the fact that she has come on top in their previous three meetings. 

The 26-year-old Sameer Verma has no such luxury with Antonsen having dominated their meetings with a 3-1 record in his favour.

The Dane, who bowed out of the opening round of the Thailand Open last week, has been better in this competition and has played a match less with his second-round tie against Srikanth Kidambi being called-off due to COVID-19 complications

In the doubles segment, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy has another busy day with both his doubles teams in with a chance of making the last four. 

India kick-starts the day with Satwiksairaj and Ashwini Ponnappa taking on the fifth seeds Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia in the mixed doubles.

Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty will later return for their men’s doubles tie against another Malaysian duo of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.