The quarter finals of the ongoing Toyota Thailand Open were bound to be exciting and thrilling for the Indian fans. Indian shuttlers are scheduled to play four quarter finals today. First up were the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
The duo produced magic on court when they faced Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich in round 2. In quarterfinals they were able to recreate that performance as they beat Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying. The teams had clashed four times in the past and shared a record of 2-2 among themselves.
The Malaysians took a slender lead at the start of the match. The Indian pair had done well to stay within touching distance of the fifth seeds. However, Chan and Goh took the first game, 18-21. The humdinger of a match soon seemed to slip away from Ponnappa and Rankiredddy’s fingers as their opponents raced away in the second bout. The Malaysians took a 3-point lead going into the mid-game interval.
But Ponnappa and Rankireddy hadn’t forgotten the incredible comeback they had produced in round 2. They fought back like warriors and went from trailing with a massive margin to winning the second game, 24-22. The pair rallied in a fine manner to push the match to a decider.
The nail-biting victory
If the rest of the match wasn’t thrilling enough, the decider proved to be even more maddening. None of the teams was sparing the other a chance to take a big lead.
However, Goh Liu Ying seemed to pull her back during the third game and a doctor was called. But the Malaysians returned to court and again took a lead going into the mid-game break.
But Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy weren’t done just then. The pair is soon proving to be the masters of a successful fightback as they mounted what was nothing short of a phenomenal comeback. They didn’t budge despite their opponents maintaining pressure throughout and emerged victorious in this nail-biting battle, 22-20.
The Indian duo not only booked their berth in the semi-finals of the Toyota Thailand Open but recorded what could possibly be their best performances so far. The final scores were, 18-21, 24-22, 22-20.
All eyes would now be on Sameer Verma, PV Sindhu and mens doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty to carry forward the winning rally.