Shuttlers Dewalkar-Chopra enter second round at Worlds

Copenhagen, Aug 26 :

Indian shuttlers Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra came out on top in a topsy-turvy opening match to proceed to the men’s doubles second round of the World Championships being held at the 9,200-seater Ballerup Super Arena here Monday.

However, it was the end of the road for Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa whose campaign in the mixed doubles category came to a crashing end on the first day of the sport’s most prestigious tournament.


It was a neck-and-neck encounter in the first game against Hong Kong pair Yun Lung Chan and Chun Hei Lee but Dewalkar and Chopra did well to stick it out and take home the first game 21-19.

The second game was also pretty close at the start but as it progressed, the World No.43 combine from Hong Kong kept extending their lead to win the game 21-16 and level the match.

Yun and Chun maintained most of the lead till 16-14 in the decider but the World No.39 Indians came out with a brilliant spurt to scalp the next six points and have four matchpoints at hand. However, Dewalkar and Chopra wasted all four of them and the match was level once more at 20-all.

The Indian pair managed to keep its nerves and easily took the next two points to win the 54-minute match. Next they will be up against South Korean fifth seeds Ki Jung Kim and Sa Rang Kim.

Earlier, Tarun and Ashwini had lost the first game 16-21 to Danish World No.16 pair Anders Kristiansen and Julie Houmann but came back strongly in the second. The World No.39 Indian combine gave a tough fight in the second game but eventually went down 25-27 in a close match which lasted 46 minutes.

However, in some good news for Ashwini, she, along with her women’s doubles partner Jwala Gutta, got a walkover in their opener to enter the second round as England’s Heather Olver and Kate Robertshaw withdrew from the tournament.

In the second round they have a tough match ahead when they take on Chinese fifth seeds Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao, who have an unbeaten 6-0 record against Jwala and Ashwini.

Arun Vishnu-Aparna Balan (mixed doubles) and Parupalli Kashyap (men’s singles) will play their respective matches later in the day.


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