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Saina Nehwal eases into pre-quarters of Thailand Open | Badminton News

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HYDERABAD: Unruffled by the series of controversies that marked the first day, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty eased into the pre-quarterfinals of the Thailand Open BWF Super-1000 tournament in Bangkok on Wednesday.
However, Saina’s husband Parupalli Kashyap, Sameer Verma and the husband and wife pair of Sumeeth Reddy and Sikki Reddy along with other doubles teams exited the tournament.
Despite a disappointing Tuesday, Saina looked in splendid touch as she trounced Kisona Selvaduray of Malaysia in straight games 21-15, 21-15.
The World No. 20 Indian will now face World No.12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the pre-quarterfinals on Thursday.
In men’s singles, Srikanth eased past his training partner Sourabh Verma 21-12, 21-11 in the first round.
Meanwhile, Sourabh’s brother Sameer Verma suffered a straight game loss against Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia 21-15, 21-7 while Kashyap retired hurt after trailing in the third game against Jason Anthony Ho-Shue of Canada 21-19, 13-21, 14-8.
Exciting doubles pair of Satwik and Chirag downed their idols Kim Gi Jung and lee Yong Dae of Korea 19-21, 21-16, 21-14. “When we started playing badminton we used to idolise them…we’re happy to be back after 11 months,” said Chirag.
His partner Satwik too was quite happy to notch up a victory against the formidable Korean combine. “Lee Yong Dae was an idol for both of us…we’re happy to get the win. We are doing well in practice, that hunger is there. We didn’t play well last year, so that spirit, that fire is there inside, and we’re heading into the Olympics, so we want to see what the other players have worked on during the last few months,” Satwik told the BWF website.
Results (Rd I; Men’s singles): Kidambi Srikanth bt Sourabh Verma 21-12, 21-11; Shesar Hiren Rhustavito (Ina) bt Sameer Verma 21-15, 21-17; Jason Anthony Ho-Shue (Can) bt Parupalli Kashyap 21-19, 13-21, 14-8 retd.
Women’s singles: Saina Nehwal bt Kisona Selvaduray (Mas) 21-15, 21-15.
Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty bt Kim Gi Jung/Lee Yong Dae 19-21, 21-16, 21-14; Weeraphat Phakjarung/Wongsathorn Thongkham (Tha) bt Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy 21-19, 21-14; Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (Mas) bt Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun 13-21, 21-8, 24-22.
Mixed doubles: Chun Man Tang/Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) bt Sumeeth Reddy/Sikki Reddy 22-20, 21-17


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Kohli has made India a tough side, can’t be bullied, says former England captain Hussain

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LONDON: Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels Virat Kohli has instilled a fighting attitude in the current Indian team, which does not get bullied by adversities, whether on or off the field.

Despite missing some key players to injuries and skipper Kohli, who was on paternity leave, an inexperienced Indian team, led by Ajinkya Rahane, displayed grit and determination to register a historic come-from-behind 2-1 series win over Australia.

Hussain warned England to be ready for a tough one in the four-Test series against India, starting February 5 in Chennai.

“Any side that can go to Australia, go 1-0 down after being bowled out for 36, lose Kohli because he’s going home on paternity leave, lose your bowling attack and still come back and win after some of the stuff that went on off the field in Australia, they won’t be bullied,” he told Sky Sports.

“They (India) are a tough side. I think Kohli has instilled that. Make no mistake, at home, they are a formidable outfit.”

Insisting that England will head into the India assignment with plenty of confidence after the 2-0 series sweep of Sri Lanka, Hussain urged the visitors to field their best eleven in the first Test.

Hussain had earlier taken strong objection to England’s decision to rest Jonny Bairstow for the first two India Tests.

“That’s a really good sign that they’re doing that, with harder tasks ahead. The Ashes, India home and away, New Zealand confirmed, but that is great momentum and confidence going into an iconic series which is India away,” he said.

“…I was brought up in India and I’ve always seen India vs England as one of the great series – all I would have asked is turn up to Chennai with your best 13 to 15 players.

“I think England fans have earned the right for their best team to be there that first day. If it means (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson playing together because it’s a bit green, worry about the Ashes down the line.”



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Virat Kohli has made India a tough side, can’t be bullied: Nasser Hussain | Cricket News

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LONDON: Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels Virat Kohli has instilled a fighting attitude in the current Indian team, which does not get bullied by adversities, whether on or off the field.
Despite missing some key players to injuries and skipper Kohli, who was on paternity leave, an inexperienced Indian team, led by Ajinkya Rahane, displayed grit and determination to register a historic come-from-behind 2-1 series win over Australia.
Hussain warned England to be ready for a tough one in the four-Test series against India, starting February 5 in Chennai.

“Any side that can go to Australia, go 1-0 down after being bowled out for 36, lose Kohli because he’s going home on paternity leave, lose your bowling attack and still come back and win after some of the stuff that went on off the field in Australia, they won’t be bullied,” he told Sky Sports.
“They (India) are a tough side. I think Kohli has instilled that. Make no mistake, at home, they are a formidable outfit.”
Insisting that England will head into the India assignment with plenty of confidence after the 2-0 series sweep of Sri Lanka, Hussain urged the visitors to field their best eleven in the first Test.
Hussain had earlier taken strong objection to England’s decision to rest Jonny Bairstow for the first two India Tests.
“That’s a really good sign that they’re doing that, with harder tasks ahead. The Ashes, India home and away, New Zealand confirmed, but that is great momentum and confidence going into an iconic series which is India away,” he said.

“…I was brought up in India and I’ve always seen India vs England as one of the great series – all I would have asked is turn up to Chennai with your best 13 to 15 players.

“I think England fans have earned the right for their best team to be there that first day. If it means (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson playing together because it’s a bit green, worry about the Ashes down the line.”


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leander paes: Tokyo Olympics still in my vision: Leander Paes | Tennis News

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KOLKATA: The pandemic has resulted in the sporting calendar going haywire and it has become a challenge for sportspersons to maintain their focus. One can learn a thing or two from Leander Paes on this aspect as the veteran tennis player still looks forward to playing his eighth Olympic Games this summer.
“I don’t know whether the Tokyo Games will happen or not, but it is still in my vision,” he stated on Monday. “I want India’s name in the record books as a tennis player from the country to have played in eight Olympics Games,” he added.
However, the 47-year-old knows it’s easier said than done.
“Staying away from the game for 11 months is not easy. And at this age, it’s twice as difficult,” he said. “I am trying to keep myself in good mental and physical condition and training for about three hours a day.”
The star Davis Cupper’s ranking will also come into play when the Indian Olympic squad is named.
Paes, who is not competing in the Australian Open, aims to play the French Open and Wimbledon before the Olympics.
“Sports in a bubble is very difficult. I did not feel playing in a bubble at this stage of my career is the best thing to do and hence sat out of Oz Open. But I hope by the time French Open happens, Europe will be in a much better position than it is now,” he said.
The 18-time Grand Slam winner rated Serbian Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams as favourites to win this year’s Australian Open beginning next month.


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