Rajawat stuns world No. 4 Anders Antonsen

Calgary (Canada), Jul 6 (PTI) Continuing his dream run, rising Indian shuttler Priyanshu Rajawat stunned top seed and world number four Anders Antonsen of Denmark to cruise into the semifinals of the Canada Open here.

World number 39 Rajawat defeated Antonsen 21-11, 17-21, 21-19 in a gruelling one hour 19 minutes quarterfinal on Friday night.

However, the women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand made a quarterfinal exit.

The third-seeded Indians were handed a 18-21 21-19 16-21 defeat by Chinese Taipei’s Pei Shan Hsieh and En-Tzu Hung.

The win against Antonsen is the 22-year-old Rajawat’s first-ever victory over a top-10 player. He will take on Alex Lanier of France in what will be his second World Tour Super 500 semifinal.

Rajawat was off to a bright start, taking a 7-4 lead in the opening game before Antonsen levelled it at 9-9.

The Indian then picked up five points on the trot to gain the upper hand and while the Dane tried to fashion a comeback, Rajawat claimed seven successive points to take the first game.

Trailing 0-1, Antonsen made a strong comeback in the second game and although Rajawat matched him, even levelling the game at 17, he lost four straight points as the world No. 4 forced a decider.

In the final game, Rajawat initially led 5-1, but Antonsen responded with six consecutive points, bringing the score to 7-5 in favour of the Danish player.

Rajawat staged a comeback by winning three points but the experienced Dane entered the mid-game break with a slender 11-10 lead.

With little differentiating the two players, it could have been anybody’s game but at 19-19 Rajawat won back-to-back points to seal the match.

Rajawat is the only Indian left in the competition.

He had pulled off victories against higher-ranked opponents — world number 24 Rasmus Gemke of Denmark and Japan’s Takuma Obayashi, ranked 33rd, in the first and second rounds respectively.

Source: PTI News


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