Swiss Open: Satwik-Chirag advance to quarterfinals; Sindhu, Prannoy, Srikanth exit

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (R) and Chirag Shetty (L) of India. Shi Tang/Getty Images

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were the only Indians left in the main draw of the Swiss Open Super 300 after PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth all suffered second-round exits in Basel on Thursday.

The second-seeded men's pairing of Satwik-Chirag laboured past Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee of Chinese Taipei (12-21 21-17 28-26). The Indians had a slow start in the first game, falling away after trailing 6-8 to lose it 12-21. It was reversed in the second game as SatChi took a 13-7 lead before their opponents fought back to trail 18-17 only for the Indians to rattle off three points and close out the game.

The Indians had a bad start in the decider, trailing 3-9, but fought back as the two teams traded blows, with the scores level at 26-26 before the second seeds made the final two points count. Satwik-Chirag face Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede of Denmark in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Fourth seed Sindhu fell to 20-year-old Indonesian Putri Kusuma Wardani (15-21 21-12 18-21), who was part of the gold medal-winning team of the 2022 Asia Team Championships, in her second-round match.

It was a see-saw battle which saw Sindhu lose the opening game 15-21, before winning the second game 21-12 despite it being tied at 10-10. Sindhu struggled to get going in the third game, with Wardani taking a 15-6 lead, before fought back to 20-18, but the youngster held her nerve to win the game and the final point.

World No. 9 and fifth seed H S Prannoy suffered a second-round exit from the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament after losing in straight games against unseeded Christo Popov of France. Prannoy, favourite coming into the contest after defeating All England Championships finalist Shi Yu Qi of China in the previous round, looked a pale shadow of himself in front of world No. 40 Popov as he failed to offer up any fight, losing 8-21, 8-21 and bowing out of the men's singles event.

Kidambi Srikanth was the first to exit on Thursday, losing to Hong Kong's Cheuk Yiu Lee. It was a hard-fought match, but Lee kept his composure to emerge 22-20, 21-17 winner in the singles pre-quarterfinal contest.

National champion Mithun Manjunath also bowed out in the second round, losing 19-21, 10-21 to Chia Hao Lee of Chinese Taipei.