PV Sindhu kicked off her China Open 2019 campaign with a comfortable 21-18, 21-12 victory over China’s Li Xuerui to advance to the second round in Changzhou, China on Wednesday. The World Champion started the match on a strong note, taking a four-point lead in the initial stage. However, the Chinese bounced back and leveled the scored at 9-9. After that Sindhu once again took charge of the proceedings, until Li saved four game points. However, her resistance came to an end with a powerful cross-court smash by Sindhu, which helped her win the first game 21-18.
The Chinese started the second game on a strong note, taking a four-point lead before Sindhu got into the groove and dominated most part of the final game. Despite trailing 6-2 in the beginning, Sindhu went on to win the second game comfortably with a 9-point gap.
Earlier in the day, Saina Nehwal suffered a first-round defeat against Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan. The Indian shuttler lost 10-21, 17-21 to World No. 19, in just 44 minutes at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium. It was the former world number one’s second successive loss to the Thai player.
The 29-year-old Saina has struggled for form following her recovery from injuries. The Indian started her season with a win at the Indonesia Open but has failed to reach another final on the BWF circuit so far.
In other matches of the day featuring Indian shuttlers, B Sai Praneeth defeated Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-19 21-23 21-14 to make the next round of the men’s singles event.
The duo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost to Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich 12-21 21-23.