World badminton rankings: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa break into top 20

The Indian duo climbed 16 places in the latest BWF rankings. Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi and Sameer Verma’s singles rankings improved as well.

By Naveen Peter ·

After a commendable show at the Asian swing of events last month, the Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa have broken into the top 20 on the latest BWF Rankings.

Satwiksairaj and Ashwini, the first Indian mixed doubles pair to reach the semi-finals of a

Super 1000 event at the Toyota Thailand Open, climbed 16 places for a career-high 19th spot, according to the rankings released on Tuesday.

In Bangkok, while Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa bowed out of the second round of the Yonex Thailand Open, the Indian badminton pair showed great form to make it to the semi-finals of the Toyota Thailand Open.

Their performance included a win over the fifth seeds and the silver medallist from the 2016 Rio Olympics Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia in the quarter-finals.

Ponnappa and Rankireddy react after stunning win to move into Toyota Thailand Open semis

India's mixed doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa shar...

In the men's doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty rode their fine performances in Thailand to retain the 10th spot with world champion PV Sindhu was static at seventh in women’s singles.

The bronze medallist from London 2012, Saina Nehwal, moved up a place to 19th in the women’s singles as did former world No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi, who is now 13th in the men’s singles.

Sameer Verma, who put up a creditable show at the Toyota Thailand Open with wins over the eighth seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia and the world No. 12 Rasmus Gemke of Denmark, is 13th in the men’s singles. The Indian gained four places.

Sai Praneeth, Parupalli Kashyap drop places

World championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth suffered post the Asian swing of events as he slipped to 17th place.

The 28-year-old Sai Praneeth endured a challenging time in Bangkok with a first-round loss at the Yonex Thailand Open and a withdrawal from the Toyota Thailand Open after testing positive for COVID-19.

Parupalli Kashyap, who struggled with an injury in Thailand, dropped two places to 26th.

The Indian badminton players will now look forward to the Swiss Open from March 2-7, which kickstarts the Olympic qualification window.

The qualification period will conclude with the India Open in May with the ‘Road To Tokyo’ Rankings as on May 18 to determine participation for Tokyo 2020.