Indian challenge ends at New Zealand Open

Auckland, March 25 (IANS) The Indian challenge came to an end at the $120,000 New Zealand Open Grand Prix Gold as all three badminton pairs went down in their respective quarter-finals at the North Shore Events Centre here on Friday.

Starting the day on Court 3, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy fought well but went down 14-21, 18-21 in half an hour to South Korean mixed doubles second seeds Shin Baek Cheol and Chae Yoo Jung.

That was followed by an upset when unknown Australian pair of Setyana Mapasa and Gronya Somerville beat women’s doubles fourth seeds and India’s best bet Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa 24-22, 21-8 in 33 minutes on the same court.

In the last contest of the day, South Korean men’s doubles second seeds Ko Sung Hyun and Cheol defeated Indian sixth seeds Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-10, 22-20 in 27 minutes to enter the semi-finals.

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