Delhi go past listless Chennai

Badminton PBL : Acers score comfortable 5-2 win over Smashers

Delhi  go past listless Chennai

 In a thoroughly commanding performance, defending champions Delhi Acers decimated the Chennai Smashers 5-2 to collect their first win of the second edition of the Premier Badminton League.

Despite the home side Bengaluru Blasters in action only in the second rubber of the day, a 1200-strong crowd at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium was more in appreciation of good badminton, rather than backing a single side.

But there were of course the favourites in Olympic silver medal winner PV Sindhu and Danish Jan O Jorgensen in addition to Jwala Gutta.

It was the men's doubles that sealed it for the Acers as Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov dismantled the Smashers' pairing of Chris Adcock and Mads Pieler Kolding 11-6, 11-6 in the men's doubles game, to have their side ahead 5-0 with a solitary game to play.

The anticipation around the stadium was to see Sindhu in action and despite the tie being a foregone conclusion by the time the Hyderabadi was in action, she put on a fantastic show.

Facing a player of Sindhu's calibre will be a daunting task for anyone but 23-year-old Tanvi lad displayed remarkable spirit to keep up with the Indian ace at 5-5 in the first game before slumping to a 6-11 loss.

The second game was a lot easier for Sindhu who was a run away winner at 11-7 and to hand her side some respectability with the scoreline at 5-2.

Earlier, in a clash of two heavyweights, World No 2 Jorgensen displayed his champion skills to rally from a set down to beat Indonesian World No 23 Tommy Sugiarto in the opening match of the day.

Sugiarto came into his own with a barrage of well executed smashes to reduce a four-point deficit (5-9) and win the first game 12-10.

That looked like just the wake-up call his Danish opponent needed as Jorgensen steamrolled his way through the next two games in a real show of endurance to give Delhi a 1-0 lead in the tie.

It was a similar story in the mixed doubles as well, as Jwala and Vladimir Ivanov staged a superb comeback to down Chennai's Sindhu and Chris Adcock. It was a bit of a surprise to see Adcock paired with Sindhu rather than his usual partner and wife Gabrielle but the duo displayed great understanding to race to a 11-7 lead in the first game. But a determined Jwala and Ivanov came flying out of the blocks in the second (11-4) to push the match into a decider.

Despite the Smashers taking an early 3-0 lead, the Delhi duo held their nerve and and capitalised on unforced errors to clinch the match 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, handing Delhi a 2-0 advantage.

Delhi's advantage then got bigger at 3-0 as South Korean Son Wan Ho saw off Parupalli Kashyap 12-10, 11-4 in the second men's singles fixture.

Ho started slow but made ground to go into mid-game break trailing 6-4.
With the first game (12-10) in the bag, Ho toyed with the Indian in the second game to breeze to 11-4 victory.

Meanwhile at the time of going to print, in a massive upset, World No 19 Ajay Jayaram beat Viktor Axelsen, who is seeded three in the world rankings, 11-8, 11-9 in what was Bengaluru's trump match against the Mumbai Rockets in the second singles rubber of the day. The win gave Mumbai a 2-0 lead after Prannoy made a stunning comeback in the first match against Sourabh Verma to give the visitors the lead.

Earlier, Bengaluru's doubles pair Sung Hyun Ko and Yeong Seong Yoo had levelled scores 1-1 with a 11-7, 7-11, 11-5 win over Yong Dae Lee and Nipitphon Puangpuapech in the men's doubles.

Results: Men's singles: Jan O Jorgensen bt Tommy Sugiarto: 10-12, 11-4, 11-6
Son Wan Ho bt P Kashyap: 12-10, 11-4

Doubles: (Trump game for Delhi Acers): Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov bt Chris Adcock/Mads Pieler Kolding: 11-6, 11-6

Women's singles: (Trump game for Chennai Smashers): PV Sindhu bt Tanvi Lad: 11-6, 11-7; Mixed doubles: Vladimir Ivanov/Jwala Gutta bt Chris Adcock/PV Sindhu: 7-11, 11-4, 11-9.

Bengaluru Blasters vs Mumbai Rockets: Men's singles:  Ajay Jayaram bt Viktor Axelson 11-8, 11-9;  HS Prannoy bt Sourabh Verma: 4-11, 11-6, 11-3; Doubles: Sung Hyun Ko/Yeon Seong Yoo bt Yong Dae Lee/Nipitphon Puangpuapech: 11-7, 7-11, 11-5.

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