Blasters lose but Ashwini wins plenty of hearts
The hosts Bengaluru Blasters took on the Carolina Marin-spearheaded Hyderabad Hunters, where both teams were desperate for a win in the competition.
The first match was men’s singles between Sameer Verma of Hunters and Boonsak Ponsana of Blasters. Sameer kept an early lead against Ponsana at the break of the opening game. A classic game was displayed by Sameer who won the match in straight sets by 11-8, 11-7.
The second match was mixed doubles between Marin/Satwik of Hunters and Sung Hyun/Sikki Reddy of Blasters. The lack of coordination between the Spaniard and Satwik helped Blasters to win the match in the straight set by 11-9, 11-7.
The third match was a trump match for Blasters, Axelsen versus Hunters’s Sai Praneeth. Most of the first set Axelsen kept the lead against Praneeth showed his quality and then went on to take the game. Axelsen dominated the second set and defeated Praneeth in straight sets 11-6, 11-5. This was a trump win for Blasters.
The fourth match was a thrilling men doubles between Tan Boon/Tan Wee of Hunters and Sung Hyun/Yeon Seong of Blasters. Blasters maintained an early lead in the first set and won by 11-5. The second set was an absolute cracker which saw aggression and passion from the Tan. They came back from 4-8 to 9-9 and went on to win the game by 13-11. The Tans were on fire to begin but blasters had a comeback. The Tans fought back and won the third set by 5-11, 13-11, 11-8.
The fifth match was a trump match for Hunters, playing Carolina Marin against Ashwini Ponnappa of Blasters. This match was crucial for Hunters as it might turn the table score. In the first set, Ashwini took an early lead, then went back & forth, in end went in favor of Ashwini 11-9. Ashwini made a lot of unforced errors in the second set which helped in Marin to win the set easily. The third set went neck-to-neck. Ashwini thrilled the home crowd with her performance. Marin had to fight to win this game by 9-11, 11-5, 11-8.