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Indian pair enters Super Series quarterfinals



New Delhi, June 21:  Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai became the first Indian pair to enter the men’s doubles quarterfinals of the Japan Open Super Series at Yokohama on Friday.

The Indian pair defeated Swedish duo of Kristain Karlsson and Mattias Karlsson 3-2 (11-8, 2-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9) in an intense pre-quarterfinal battle that took about 30 minutes. The Indians will now run into the Japanese pair of Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura in the semi-finals tomorrow.

If the Indian pair manages to enter the semi-finals, they will earn a minimum of $1000 in prize money.

Both Ghosh and Desai began with a good lead to take the first game but lost out as quickly in the second before going 2-1 up against the Swedish players. But the latter were up to the task and managed to level the score to take it to the decider.

In the decider, too, the Indians ran up a good lead, but their opponents matched the Indians stroke for stroke before Ghosh completing with a scorching winner.

Earlier, in the men’s singles both Ghosh and Achanta Sharath Kamal made it to the round of 32, after their main draw entry. Sharath Kamal accounted for Jin Ueda of Japan 4-2 (11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8) while Ghosh upset Maharu Yoshimura, ranked 49th in the world, 4-3. The 189th ranked Ghosh played an aggressive game to outlast his Japanese rival 16-14, 11-7, 11-8, 12-13, 9-11 5-11, 12-10, the match consuming almost an hour.

Ghosh will have to wary of Yoshimura when he, along with Desai, takes on the Japanese and his parter in the doubles semi-final outing tomorrow.

 Anthony Amalraj, however, lost his singles battle in the main draw to Singapore’s Li Hu in straight games.

Meanwhile, Ghosh surprisingly failed to qualify for the U-21 boys event as he went down to Hampus Soderlund of Sweden. The loss cost Ghosh his entry from Group 5 as only the top two players in the group qualifying for the main draw.

Though both Tonin Ryuzai (Japan) and Soderlun had managed as many points as Ghosh did –each one of them got five points—the draw was decdied on the ratio of games won and lost. Unfortunately, Ghosh finished behind the two players in the group.

Harmeet Desai also failed to make it to the main draw despite having played some good matches.