Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu was the only bright spot on a dismal day for Indian badminton as she progressed to the quarterfinals with a straight-game win at the USD 350,000 Thailand Open World Super 500 tournament in Bangkok on Thursday.
On a day when rest of the Indian shuttlers found the going tough, world no 3 Sindhu, who clinched the silver medal at Commonwealth Games, continued her impressive run with a 21-16 21-14 win over Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin to set up a fight with USA’s Soniia Cheah on Friday.
2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap put up a brave fight before going down 18-21 21-18 19-21 to Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama, while fourth seed H S Prannoy also went down 18-21 14-21 to Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro to crash out of the tournament.
Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also played some good badminton but couldn’t get past Japanese world no 16 pair of Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe, going down 24-22 13-21 19-21 in an hour and six minutes.
Mixed doubles Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also lost 11-21 16-21 to Japanese combo of Yuki Kaneko and Mayu Matsumoto.
In a 37-minute women’s singles match, Sindhu never looked in danger as she lead 7-3 at one stage in the opening game and extended the advantage to 14-7 and 19-11. Pui Yin tried to make a comeback and narrowed the deficit to 16-19 before the Indian zoomed ahead to pocket the first game.
In the second game, Sindhu opened up a 8-4 advantage and once again Pui Yin came close with three straight points but the Indian jumped to 12-7 lead and eventually shut the door on her opponent comfortably.