Krishna Khaitan Memorial badminton: Unnati progresses; Shettigar shocks top seed Pranav Gandham

Haryana’s highly-rated Unnati Hooda, seeded fifth at the country’s premier junior tournament, Krishna Khaitan Memorial, was ruthless in beating Andhra Pradesh’s Durga Isha Kandrapu 21-13, 21-9 in the Round of 64 at Panchkula on Sunday. Top seed Sakshi Phogat of Rajasthan was tested by Telangana’s Driti Bhonsle 21-5, 18-21, 21-9 in the middle game, but also advanced.

Hooda, already a winner of a senior title in Orissa, is expected to fight for the title, though other seeded rivals also advanced on the day. Notably, the tall second seed Anupama Upadhyaya benefitted from a walkover, while Devika Sihag, completing the trio of higher seeds from Haryana, was put through the wringer by Karnataka’s Gloria Athavale, but fought back for a 19-21, 21-10, 21-19 win.

Akanksha Matte, 4th seed, also rallied against Madhya Pradesh’s Priyanka Pant to win 17-21, 21-12, 21-17. Tara Shah, another contender, was clinical in beating Gayathri Jaiswal of Karnataka, 21-19, 21-11. Maharashtra’s Riya Habbu played well but couldn’t beat Uttar Pradesh’s Gargi, and became the highest-seeded casualty of the day, losing 21-17, 21-19.

Maharashtra’s Raksha Kandasamy put up a good fight but couldn’t defeat Tanvi Sharma of Punjab, going down 22-20, 21-11.

Tamil Nadu’s Rakshita Sree S was engaged in one of the day’s most exciting battles, trumping Haryana’s Anmol Kharb, 21-19, 22-20 while Shreya Lele won the battle of Gujarat against statemate Adita Rao, winning 21-16, 11-21, 21-19. Telangana’s Shriyanshi Valishetty had to work hard to down 10th seed Neysa Cariappa 21-19, 21-23, 21-7, as the latter fought gamely after dropping the first game.

Shettigar causes big upset

Maharashtra boy Pranay Shettigar produced the day’s most notable result, downing boys’ U-19 top seed Pranav Rao Gandham of Telangana 21-17, 21-15. Sanskar Saraswat of Rajasthan, seeded sixth, defeated Jaskaran Singh 21-16, 21-15.

Dishant Ahlawat of Haryana, seeded 16th, was shut down 21-16, 16-21, 23-21 by Punjab’s Akarshit Sharma while Tamil Nadu’s Sugi Sai Bala Singha G beat Nikhil Chetry 17-21, 21-15, 21-15.

Results: Girls’ U19: (1) Sakshi Phogat (RAJ) bt Driti Bhonsle (TEL) 21-5, 18-21, 21-9;

Jahnavi Nammi (AP) bt Stuti Agrawal (DEL) 21-13, 21-13; (3) Shreya Lele (GUJ) bt Adita Rao (GUJ) 21-16, 11-21, 21-19; Rijul Saini (HAR) bt Meenal Rautela (DEL) 21-13, 21-5; (5) Unnati Hooda (HAR) bt Durga Isha Kandrapu (AP) 21-13, 21-9; Tanvi Sharma (PB) bt Raksha Kandasamy (MAH) 22-20, 21-11; Shriyanshi Valishetty (TEL) bt (10) Neysa Cariappa (KAR) 21-19, 21-23, 21-7;

Samayara Panwar (UP) bt Tanisha Singh (RAJ) 21-11, 21-14; (12) Hrissha Dubey (MAH) bt Riddhima Raturi (HAR) 21-19, 16-21, 22-20

Boys’ U19: Pranay Shettigar (MAH) bt (1) Pranav Rao Gandham 21-17, 21-15; Gagan (HAR) bt Sri Mohit Veera Venkata SK (AP) 21-9, 13-21, 21-15; Aryan Sharma (DEL) bt Ankit Mondal (WB) 23-21, 21-17; Dheemanth Ramavath (TEL) bt (14) Tarun Morab (KAR) 23-21, 21-17.

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