The Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa pulled off a stunning victory over the Malaysian world no.7 combination of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai to progress to the quarterfinals of the World Championship in China on Thursday.
Satwiksairaj and Ashwini, who put up an impressive show to help India win the historic mixed team gold at the Commonwealth Games, saw off Goh and Shevon 20-22 21-14 21-6 in a match that lasted 59 minutes in China.
“We ended up making lot of mistakes in the first game but we were more sure in the second about our strategy. We are very happy that we could stay focussed and win,”Ashwini told reporters after the match.
The world no 40 Indian pair has a tough task at hand on Friday when it faces Non.1 and top-seeded Chinese pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong.
It was an even battle in the opening game as the Malaysian pair managed an 11-8 lead at the break and though Ashwini and Satwik clawed back at 14-14 and even held a slender 18-16 lead at one stage, their rivals were more composed and pocketed the game.
In the second game, Goh and Shevon opened up a 5-2 lead but this time Ashwini and Satwik drew parity at 9-9 and then broke off to comfortably bounce back into the contest.
In the decider, the Indian pair was simply brilliant as it aggressively dominated the proceedings. They led 11-4 at the interval and continued in the same vein after the breather to storm into the quarters.
“We will give our best. We will come all guns blazing. But we can’t think too far ahead (about the medal), so the focus is on tomorrow’s match,” Ashwini said.