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Aparna upsets defending champion, Chetan, Anup move into quarters

Written by: Staff

Melbourne, Mar 23 (UNI) Olympian Aparna Popat created a major upset as she overpowered defending champion Li Li of Singapore and along with Chetan Anand and Anup Sridhar, sailed into the quarterfinals of the open event of the Badminton competition in the Commonwealth Games here today.

In the women section, Aparna displayed amazing stamina and energy in a gruelling 53-minute contest to oust third seed Li Li in three games.

However, teenage prodigy Saina Nehwal and Trupti Murgunde fell by the wayside losing in contrasting style.

Trupti lost to eight seed Susan Hughes of Scotland in straight games 21-17, 21-9 in 26 minutes while Saina went down fighting against Singapore's Aiying Xing in a marathon three-game match lasting 44 minutes.

Saina won the first game in 14 minutes but could not sustain the lead and the tempo and lost next two to go down 21-14, 13-21, 6-21.

Aparna, on her part, played percentage badminton and despite losing the first game, staged a brilliant comeback to win the next two to chalk out a 10-21, 23-21, 21-17 win that sent Li Li crashing.

In the morning, Anup Sridhar also created a big upset as he ousted fifth seed Geoffrey Bellingham of New Zealand while fourth seed Chetan Anand crushed his Mauritian rival Stephen Beeharry in straight games to sail into the quarterfinals.

Tall and lanky, Anup never relaxed his grip over the match against fifth seed which lasted 27 minutes during which he never allowed Bellingham to settle down.

The Indian displayed his armoury of powerful strokes. His telling smashes and deft crosscourt caught his opponent on the wrong foot.

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