Sikki Reddy sends second seed Aparna Balan packing

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Mumbai, Jul 29 (UNI) Unseeded Sikki Reddy of Andhra Pradesh shocked second seed Aparna Balan of PSPB to give the main draw an explosive start, in the first Tata Open All India Badminton Tournament at the Bombay Gymkhana here today.

Reddy, one of the country's top juniors, cruised to an impressive 25-23, 21-11 win in a women's first round encounter, after stretching Balan in the opening game that went over extra points.

Inspired by the early lead, Reddy, who recently returned from a month-long stint in Indonesia, came up with an impressive performance to seal a memorable win in the second game, as Balan's challenge surprisingly faded.

While Balan made a premature exit, the other women's seeds including No 1 Gayatri Vartak and third seed Neha Pandit, both of Maharashtra, and No 4 Dhanya Nair of the Railways joined Sikki Reddy in the quarter-finals.

In the other upset of the day, India's national junior boys champion Guru Sai Dutt of Andhra Pradesh rallied to a surprise 19-21, 21-11, 24-22 win over seventh seed Jishnu Sanyal of Air India, in a thrilling men's first round that included a nail-biting third game that stretched into extra points.

In contrast, top seed Arvind Bhat of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board led the other seeds into the quarter-finals.

Joining Dutt and Bhat in the last eight were, second seed and England No 1 Rajeev Ouseph, No 3 P Kashyap of PSPB and Austrian Open winner and fourth seed Anand Pawar of Air India.

RESULTS (PQF): Men: Arvind Bhat (PSPB) bt Vinay Kumar Reddy (AP) 21-15, 21-15; Guru Sai Dutt (AP) bt Jishnu Sanyal (AI) 19-21, 21-11, 24-22; P. Kashyap (PSPB) bt Thomas Kurien (Ker) 21-14, 21-11; Ajay Jayaram (Mah) bt Mohit Kamat (Ktk) 22-20, 17-21, 21-8; Anand Pawar (AI) bt Nigel D'Sa (Mah) 21-9, 21-18; Sachin Ratti (Rlys) bt JBS Vidyadhar (AP) 21-15, 13-21, 21-15; Nikhil Kanitkar (PSPB) bt Kiran Kumar (AP) 21-18, 21-15; Rajeev Ouseph (Eng) bt Saurav Kapoor (AI) 21-9, 21-11.

Women: Gayatri Vartak (Mah) bt Mohita Sahdev (Del) 18-21, 21-19, 21-11; Sayali Gokhale (AI) bt Sampada Sahasrabudhe (Mah) 21-10, 21-11; Neha Pandit (Mah) bt P. Naqvi (RSPB) 21-16, 21-14; Shruti Kurien (PSPB) bt Ruth Misha (Ktk) 21-16, 21-14; Ashwini Ponanappa (Ktk) bt Mudra Bhainje (AI) 21-17, 21-18; Dhanya Nair (RSPB) bt Bibari Basumatary (Asm) 21-19, 16-21, 21-14; BR Meenakshi (PSPB) bt Abantika Deka (Asm) 21-16, 21-19; Sikki Reddy (AP) Aparna Balan (Ker) 25-23, 21-11.

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