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Thailand Open: Verma eases into quarters, Prannoy crashes out (2nd lead)

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Bangkok, Jan 21 (IANS) India shuttler Sameer Verma on Thursday continued his stellar run at the Toyota Thailand Open as he eased past Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke in straight games to enter the quarterfinals of the men’s singles event. However, there was disappointment for HS Prannoy who crashed out of the Super 1000 tournament after facing defeat at the hands of Malaysia’s Liew Daren.

Verma defeated Gemke 21-12, 21-9 in the second-round contest that lasted for almost 40 minutes.

Verma led the match from the start and took the opening game in less than 20 minutes. Having beaten the eighth seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia in the opening round, the world number 31 took his game a notch higher as he won the second game 21-9 to march into the last eight. Verma will now face world three Anders Antonsen for a place in the semi-finals.

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Prannoy, on the other hand, suffered a 17-21, 18-21 defeat against Daren in his second-round match which stretched to 40 minutes.

In mixed doubles event, the Indian duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa secured their berth into the quarter-finals after beating Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich in their second round contest.

Satwiksairaj and Ashwini defeated their German opponents 22-20, 14-21, 21-16 in a match that lasted for 56 minutes.

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In the first game, the Indians banked on their powerful strokes from the backcourt and eventually went on to seal it with a scoreline of 22-20.

The second game, however, turned out to be a complete contrast as the world number 17 Germans were all over the Indian pair and won it 21-14.

In the decider, Mark and Isabel took a mid-interval lead but Satwiksairaj and Ashwini regrouped well to register a 21-16 win and keep their campaign alive in the tournament.

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Satwiksairaj and Ashwini will now face Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying for a place in the semis.

–IANS

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