Basel: World Championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth staved off aspirited challenge from France’s Christo Popov to progress to the men’s singles quarterfinals of the Swiss Open Super 300 tournament here on Thursday. World no 12 Srikanth, who had missed India leg of the BWF tour in January after testing positive for COVID-19, eked out a fighting 13-21 25-23 21-11 win over Popov, ranked 60th, in a second-round match that lasted an hour and 13 minutes.
The seventh seeded Indian will face second seeded Dane Anders Antonsen next. Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap too entered the quarterfinals after top seed and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen gave a walkover.
Third seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, however, lost 19-21 20-22 to Indonesian pairing of Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob Rambitan in the men’s doubles. In the women’s singles, Ashmita Chaliha put up a tough fight before going down 18-21 20-22 to eighth seeded Scot Kirsty Gilmour in the second round. On Wednesday night, Sindhu had entered the second round with a 21-14 21-12 win over Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt here.
Sindhu, also a former world champion, will face Neslihan Yigit of Turkey late in the day. Also progressing was the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, who got the better of local pair Aline Muller and Jenjira Stadelmann 21-15 21-16 in straight games.
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