It was a mixed day for India at Dubai Open Super Series Finals on Wednesday as PV Sindhu delivered a victory against China’s He Bingjiao in three games while Kidambi Srikanth lost to World No. 1 and defending champion Viktor Axelsen.
Sindhu, who clinched the India Open and Korea Open in 2017, began the year-ending tournament on a winning note as she defeated Bingjiao 21-11, 16-21, 21-18 in an intense 63-minutes encounter.
The Hyderabadi shuttler was in control throughout the first game against the Chinese, despite losing the first point. At the break, she had an 8-point lead which she extended to 10 points by the end of the first game, wrapping the game in just 14 minutes.
However, a resilient Bingjiao came back to prolong Sindhu’s opening match win. Bingjiao took matters into her hands after the Indian went into the second game mid-interval break with 11-9 lead. The Chinese then took three crucial points to take the lead and move the match into decider.
The third game was an intense neck-to-neck competition but Sindhu emerged as the better of the two shuttlers to win the opening match. Sindhu has been clubbed with the Japanese duo of No.2 ranked Akane Yamaguchi and world No.15 Sayako Sato, besides Bingjiao in Group A. She will now face Sato on Thursday.
Srikanth, on the other hand, went down miserably in his opening round match against top seed Axelsen 21-13, 21-17. In the first game, Srikanth took 11-9 lead at break but could not sustain it from there. He took quick points to demolish the Indian shuttler. The second game was no different, with the Denmark shuttler in a hurry to end the match.
Srikanth will face world no 7 Chou Tien Chen on Thursday. He is placed in Group B with Axelsen, Tien Chen and Shi Yuqi.