Sameer, Satwik Ponnappa sail into quarterfinals of Thailand Open Prannoy loses

Bangkok, Jan 21 (PTI) India’s Sameer Verma continued his impressive run at the Toyota Thailand Open Super 1000 tournament, stunning world no 17 Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in a second round match to advance to the men’s singles quarterfinals, here on Thursday. The world no 31 Indian, who had shocked Malaysia’s eighth seed Lee Zii Jia in the opening round, needed just 39 minutes to see off Gemke 21-12 21-9. This was Sameer’s third victory over Gemke. The Indian had defeated the world no 17 Danish shuttler in their previous two clashes. Sameer will face third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark, who received a walkover, in the quarterfinals. “I was very confident before the match. I came prepared. Next up I have Anders Antonsen from Denmark. I’m feeling very confident, so let’s see. It will be tough but I will play my best,” Sameer said. The mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also made it to the quarterfinals with a stunning 22-20 14-21 21-16 win over world no 17 German duo of Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich in a match that lasted close to an hour. HS Prannoy, however, failed to cross the second hurdle, going down 17-21 18-21 to Malaysia’s Daren Liew, a day after battling through pain to upstage Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie in a gruelling three-game match. Earlier, Gemke was no match for Sameer, who showed better control and execution to dominate the proceedings right from the word go. The Indian opened up a 3-0 lead and kept marching ahead to grab a six-point advantage at the break. Gemke tried his best but couldn’t trouble Sameer, who easily claimed the first game. In the second game, Gemke managed to hold slender leads of 3-1 and 5-3 but Sameer broke off at 6-6 and never looked back.


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