Millennium Post

S’pore Open: Sindhu wins tough match, Pranaav through in doubles

Indian ace P V Sindhu entered the second round in women’s singles while Pranaav Jerry Chopra advanced to the next stage alongwith his respective partners in the men’s and mixed doubles events at the Singapore Super Series here on Wednesday.

Sindhu saw off Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungphan 9-21 21-17 21-11 in a 54-minute clash, while National champions Pranaav and Akshay Dewalkar defeated China’s Liu Cheng and Lu Kai 21-17 16-21 22-20 in a men’s doubles match.

Pranaav alongwith his mixed doubles partner N Sikki Reddy also reached the second round after prevailing 21-15 21-17 over Indonesian pair of Irfan Fadhilah and Weni Anggraini.

They will next take on fourth seeded Chinese combo of Xu Chen and Ma Jin.

Malaysia Open champion, Sindhu will face China’s He Bingjiao, while National champions, Pranaav and Akshay will meet second seeds Indonesian pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.

However, it turned out to be a disastrous day for the men’s singles shuttler -- Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram -- as all of them bowed out in the opening round, which will affect their world ranking and chances of qualifying for the Rio Olympics. This tournament is the last Super Series event before the May 3 deadline.

World No 22 Prannoy, who had lost to the World No 1 and top seed Chen Long at the 2014 India Open, produced some quality badminton but his efforts were not enough against the two-time World and All England Champion, who won 21-18, 18-21, 19-21 in a hard-fought match that lasted an hour and 11 minutes.

The Indian grabbed the opening game and also led 8-4 and 18-16 in the second and third games but the experienced Chinese made sure he had the last laugh. Prannoy had reached the quarterfinals last year and is likely to lose some ranking points. Up against World No. 28 Hsu Jen Hao, Srikanth, who had a 2-0 head-to-head record against the Chinese Taipei shuttler, squandered an opening game advantage and a 9-7 lead in the second game to go down 21-11, 18-21, 18-21. It was his third first-round exit after the India Open and the Malaysia Open.

For Jayaram, it turned out to be a repeat of the India Open as he went down 17-21, 16-21 to the experienced Marc Zwiebler. It was his fifth defeat against the German in six meetings.

India’s women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who had earned India a bronze at the 2011 World Championship, continued their dismal run as they too crashed out in the opening round after a 18-21, 16-21 loss to South Korean combo of Go Ah Ra and Yoo Hae Won.
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