PV Sindhu crashed out in the first round of Korea Open after losing to USA’s Zhang Beiwen 21-7, 22-24, 15-21 on Wednesday. Sindhu won the first game comfortably but the American shuttler came back strongly to win the next two games.
The 26-year-old former winner here had defeated Zhang en route her World Championships gold at Basel. The Chinese-born American prevailed over the Indian twice last year at the India Open and Denmark Open.
London Olympic bronze medallist Saina was trailing 21-19, 18-21 and 1-8 against South Korea’s Kim Ga Eun when she was forced to retire. Saina had a 2-0 head-to-head record against Eun in their previous matches.
Saina has had a tough year owing to injuries. She won the Indonesia Open at the beginning of the season but has struggled since then. At the China Open Super 1000 event last week, she made a first-round exit.
Sindhu had also crashed out of China Open when she suffered a pre-quarterfinals defeat to Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong in the women’s singles on September 19. She had lost to Chochuwong 21-12, 13-21, 19-21 in a duel which lasted for more than 50 minutes.
In men’s singles, Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth made an early exit from the ongoing Korea Open Super 500 tournament after he was forced to retire midway in his first-round match against Anders Antonsen of Denmark on Wednesday. Praneeth had lost the first game 9-21 and was trailing 7-11 in the second when he chose to retire because of injury and thus sending Antonsen through to the round of 16.
The 27-year-old had entered the Korea Open on the back of an exit at the quarterfinal stage of the China Open last week where he lost to World No. 9 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia. Before that, he had won bronze medal at the World Championships in Basel, ending India’s 36-year drought for a medal in men’s singles category.
Parupalli Kashyap was the lone Indian to survive in the singles event after star shuttlers P V Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth all made first-round exits at the Korea Open tournament on Wednesday.
Kashyap registered a comfortable 21-16 21-16 over Lu Chia Hung of Chinese Taipei in a men’s singles match match that lasted 42 minutes.
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