HomeSportsTreesa Jolly, Gayatri Gopichand Pullela display total control to enter women’s doubles...

Treesa Jolly, Gayatri Gopichand Pullela display total control to enter women’s doubles semifinals.

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, an Indian duo, kept up their impressive streak on Friday at the All England Championships, putting on another outstanding performance to advance to the semifinals for the second time in a row. In a 64-minute quarterfinal match, the World No. 17 Indian pair defeated the recently formed Chinese pair of Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan Xuan by scores of 21-14, 18-21, and 21-12. Gayatri and Treesa, the only Indians competing, will go up against either the eighth-seeded Indonesian team of Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti or the Korean team of Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee.

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Gayatri and Treesa had already made it to the semifinals in the previous round. The pair had previously defeated pairs that were ranked higher, including Tan Pearly and Thinnah Muralitharan, who were ranked No. 7 in the world, at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship in February. This time, though, they entered the draw with some experience after winning the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games the year prior.

In the preliminary rounds, the Indian team stunned the seventh-seeded Thai team of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Ravindra Prajongjai as well as the former world-number-one Japanese team of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota. Gayatri, 20, and Treesa, 19, competed against Li, a former World No. 9 and Liu, a former World No. 16, in the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals, Gayatri, 20, and Treesa, 19, faced off against Li, a former World No. 9, and Liu, a former World No. 16.

The Chinese pair made a comeback to tie the score at 6-6, but the Indian team soon had a commanding 11-8 lead. Gayatri and Treesa quickly gauged their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and skillfully constructed the points to move to 18-12 before winning the first game with ease.

After switching sides, the Indian pair maintained a tight hold on the rallies to lead 5-1 and 10-6 at various points. However, Li and Liu soon found their footing and began to chip away at the lead.

Eventually, a couple of tight serves from Liu helped them cap five straight points and take a 11-10 lead. It was a down-the-line smash from Gayatri that broke the run of points. Gayatri seemed more alert near the court, changing defence to attack. Few flat exchanges ensued next with Treesa’s wild forehand landing out and Gayatri rushing onto a shot as the Chinese pair again grabbed the lead.


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