Kanetkar moves into next round

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

Nikhil Kanetkar came up with a gutsy performance to beat Sergio Llopis of Spain in a thrilling encounter to move into the second round.

Kanetkar moves into next round

Athens:

Nikhil Kanetkar came up with a gutsy performance to beat Sergio Llopis of Spain in a thrilling encounter to move into the second round of the singles event of the 28th Olympic Badminton competition here today. The 25-year-old southpaw, playing in his maiden Olympics, showed that he could hold his nerve during tense situations emerging triumphant 15-7 13-15 15-13 in 66 minutes at the Goudi Olympic Hall. He will now meet former World champion Peter Gade of Denmark for a place in the last eight. Gade thrashed Chinese Taipei's Yu-Hsiu Chien 15-6 15-1 in the first round. Kanetkar, ranked 48th in the world, looked a bit shaky in the beginning and conceded the first two points. But once he got into his groove he ran away with the first game, needing just 15 minutes to take a 1-0 lead. The Indian looked like he would cruise to a win as he took a 4-0 lead in the second game. But Llopis, ranked four places above Kanetkar, clawed back into the match with some brilliant cross-court smashes. Kanetkar saved two game points but could not stop the Spaniard from taking the tie into the decider. The Pune-born shuttler, who had defeated Llopis in the Mauritius Open early this year, was forced on the backfoot in the final game. Trailing 6-9 in the decider, Kanetkar concentrated on long rallies and used his reach to good effect to stage a comeback and wrapped up the final game in 23 minutes. (PTI)

Topics : Badminton India
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