Swetha Image Courtesy:
Sikki FB (Badminton Photo)
23 Sep, 2017
Pranaav and Sikki marked their victory by reaching semifinals in their
first ever super series match at Japan Open. Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra went down to Japan’s
Takuro Hoki and Sayaka Hitora after an inspiring fight with 21-14, 15-21, 19-21
despite saving a match point towards the end.
The duo started the game with the winning spirit, dominating the
Japanese pair with an early lead of 4-3. After the intense and long rallies,
the Indian pair gets 2 point lead at 7-5. The Japanese levelled the Indians at
9-9 before India’s top mixed doubles pair had two point advantage of 11-9 at the break. By extending the lead, Sikki and
Chopra reached 18-13 after Japanese made the duo to sniff towards the bird to
return; bagging the first game with 21-14 by six game points.
Second game was not very lucky for the Indian pair as the Japanese
rebounded with an early lead with a huge gap of 4 points at 5-1. The Japanese
duo gave no chance to think, making the Indians clueless and got better with
their intense returns. It’s Japanese at the break with 11-7, before the Indians
tried making their comeback with the trail of 14-16. And, that’s the wrap by
the Japanese at 21-15 with an ease.
In the decider, the Indians kick-started the game leading 3-1. Both
the teams managed to catch up their opponents now and then avoiding the gap
till 8-8, before the Japanese taking the lead at the break with 11-9. After the
left-right combination pair grabbed the long rally, they trailed at 15-17
looking confident and focused towards the match point. Sikki and Chopra gave a tough
fight to the Japanese till the last points, and lost the amazing opportunity to
progress into the finals. Despite the much closer deciding game, the Japanese
powered their way to win at 21-19.
It is the victory of the Indian mixed doubles pair, to be noticed, even
though they ended with a loss today. The duo’s journey in the Japan Open is
indeed an inspiring and a positive sign for the Indian doubles badminton.