As it happened - Thailand Open 2021, Day 3: Indian challenge ends

Top-ranked shuttlers including Sania Nehwal and Srikanth Kidambi bow out. Recap India's participation at Thailand Open here.

By Naveen Peter ·

5:45 PM IST - Curtains on India's performance

That brings us to the end of India's challenge at the Yonex Thailand Open.

The mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa too bow out of the competition following a straight games loss in their second-round match.

The Indians cannot produce the magic that they did on the opening day and lose out to Hong Kong’s Chang Tak Ching and NG Wing Yung 12-21, 17-21.

The shuttlers will be hoping for a better showing at the Toyota Thailand Open Super 1000 event that gets underway next week.

5:32 PM IST - Saina Nehwal reflects on Yonex Thailand Open

It was not the performance that Saina Nehwal was expecting from herself at the Yonex Thailand Open.

But given the past few months that saw her deal with the novel coronavirus, the Indian shuttler was content with her show against Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the second round.

I tried my best today, was definitely moving well. I tested positive for COVID in November, so the recovery took time and I did whatever preparation I could in three weeks. You need better endurance at the highest level," Saina Nehwal said.

3:35 PM IST - Saina Nehwal bows out

That's the end of the road for Saina Nehwal. She goes down to local favourite Busanan Ongbamrungphan in a tiring three-game match. 

The Indian shuttler had her opportunities, but couldn't capitalise on them as she fell short of her target at the Yonex Thailand Open. 

Busanan Ongbamrungphan will be looking forward to another spirited performance in the quarter-finals against Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt, who beat the world champion, PV Sindhu, en route the last-eight.

Score: 23-21, 14-21, 16-21

3:25 PM IST - Busanan Ongbamrungphan looking good

The Thai shuttler continues from where she left in the second game -- winning points at will.

Saina Nehwal will need something special to stop this juggernaut. 

Score: 23-21, 14-21, 7-11

3:16 PM IST - Busanan Ongbamrungphan draws level 

The Thai shuttler does well to weather the storm and take the second game 21-14.

The 24-year-old looked in control of the game and went about her business without any real challenge from Saina Nehwal. 

Though it looked like the Indian shuttler would rally midway through the game to take the fight to her opponent, Saina Nehwal's fightback didn't last for long as Ongbamrungphan did well to push the match into a decider. 

Score: 23-21, 14-21

3:05 PM IST - Ongbamrungphan is back in it

Busanan Ongbamrungphan has done well to keep herself in the match. She has used the court well to win her points. 

The strategy seems clear -- prolong the rally and keep Saina Nehwal moving. And it's working for the Thai shuttler so far.

Score: 23-21, 7-11

2:55 PM IST - Saina Nehwal with the first blow

It's been a seesaw battle in this second-round match at the Yonex Thailand Open. Neither shuttlers are willing to cede much ground. 

But Saina Nehwal ekes ahead at the fag end to take the opening game for a crucial 1-0 lead in this match. 

Can Busanan Ongbamrungphan mount a comeback? Don't go anywhere. This is as close as it gets.

Score: 23-21

2:38 PM IST - Ongbamrungphan with a slender advantage

This is a tight one to call. Both shuttlers have exchanged points frequently, not letting their opponent run away with a sizeable lead in the early stages.

Who will blink first?

Score: 9-11

2:25 PM IST - Saina Nehwal takes guard

We are on Court No. 2 where Indian ace Saina Nehwal is up against Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the second round. 

The two have faced off six times in their career with the shuttlers winning three matches each. Their latest meeting dates back to the 2020 Barcelona Spain Masters where the Thai took the match 22-20, 21-19.

2:05 PM IST - Srikanth Kidambi pulls out

Former world no. 1 Srikanth Kidambi has withdrawn from the Yonex Thailand Open following a muscle injury ahead of his second-round match. 

Scheduled to play Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia later today, the Indian shuttler complained of a pull in his right calf muscle.

1:20 PM IST - It's Saina Nehwal time

The bronze medallist from the 2012 London Olympics in on Court 2 next, taking on local favourite Busanan Ongbamrungphan in her second-round match. 

The past few days have been challenging for the Indian ace. From being forced to withdraw after having tested positive for COVID-19 to being reinstated following a reexamination, Saina Nehwal has had enough to deal with off the court. 

But the 30-year-old hardly showed signs of fatigue as she despatched Malaysia's Kisona Selvaduray in a lopsided encounter yesterday. 

Up against Busanan Ongbamrungphan, Saina Nehwal will be eyeing a similar high-intensity performance.

Meanwhile, listen in as Saina Nehwal relived the testing drama at the Yonex Thailand Open.

12:25 PM IST - Mia Blichfeldt awaits

The Dane continues her terrific run at the Yonex Thailand Open with a dominant 21-12, 21-16 win over Iris Wang of the USA in the second round of the women's singles.

The world no. 18, Mia Blichfeldt, will face the winner of the match between India's Saina Nehwal and Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

Mia Blichfeldt beat world champion PV Sindhu in her opening round match at the Yonex Thailand Open. Photo:  Badmintonphoto - Courtesy of BWF

9:15 AM IST - Chirag-Satwik no match for the world champions

Indian shuttlers Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were in for a reality check against the world No. 2 pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.

Some quickfire badminton saw the three-time world champions race to a comfortable 21-19, 21-17 win and book their place in the quarter-finals of the Yonex Thailand Open.

Here's a look at how they went about their business.

8:17 AM IST - End of the road for Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty

The Indian pair bow out of the Yonex Thailand Open following a straight-games loss to world No. 2 Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.

In a match that lasted for 33 minutes, the top-ranked pair at the Thailand Open was in complete control and dictated the play at will with their quick returns, dominant match play and powerful strokes from the backcourt.

Though the Indians tried their best to stay in the match with a late challenge in both the games, Ahsan and Setiawan didn't let the tie slip away and closed the encounter with a body smash for the final points.

Score: 19-21, 17-21

8:07 AM IST - World champions in command

Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan have grown into this tie with every passing rally and it's no surprise that they enjoy an 11-8 lead halfway through the second game.

The Indians have struggled to read the variations with service errors adding to their plight.

Score: 19-21, 8-11

7:58 AM IST - Ahsan, Setiawan take the opening game

A tightly fought opening game, and it's the Indonesian who eke ahead to gain a 1-0 advantage in this second-round match at the Yonex Thailand Open. 

Ahsan and Setiawan have looked clam in their approach while Chirag Shetty is still battling a few nerves. 

But there's plenty more to come in this match. You just can't take your eyes off it. 

Score: 19-21

7:50 AM IST - Ahsan, Setiawan with the early advantage

The three-time world champions with a handy lead at the mid-game interval.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty started well, but couldn't hold on to their advanntage as the Indonesians eased their way into the game with some smart badminton and powerful strokes.

Score: 8-11

7:25 AM IST - Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty take centre stage

We begin the day with the defending men's doubles champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty taking the court for their second-round tie at the Yonex Thailand Open. 

The Indian duo is up against the top-ranked pair at the meet, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia. 

But before that, here's a look at how the Indians fared in their opening round match.

7:00 AM IST - All eyes on Sania Nehwal, Satwik-Chirag

Having kicked-off her Olympic year with a commanding win in the opening round of the Yonex Thailand Open, Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal will look to go deep into the competition when she takes on Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand today.

Saina Nehwal was in fine touch in her first-round match against Malaysia’s Kisona Selvaduray on Wednesday. She won the tie 21-15, 21-15 and is hoping to continue her form against the local shuttler.

India’s challenge on this fine Thursday at the Thailand Open begins with the defending men’s doubles champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lining up against the world No. 2 Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.

The two pairs have faced off thrice in the past with the Indonesian enjoying a slender 2-1 edge. 

Other Indians in action include the former world No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi, who faces a tough task against one of Malaysia’s promising youngsters and the eighth seed, Lee Zii Jia.

Meanwhile, the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa will look to build on their win in the opening round when they face Hong Kong’s Chang Tak Ching and NG Wing Yung.