Kidambi Srikanth, meanwhile, scraped past Lu Guang Zu of China in three games and made the men’s quarter-finals, where the Indian will face world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen.
Indian badminton stars PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were knocked out early after losing their respective second-round matches at the German Open 2022 BWF Super 300 event at Mulheim on Thursday.
While PV Sindhu lost to the world championship bronze medallist Zhang Yi Man 21-14, 15-21, 21-14 in 55 minutes, Saina Nehwal went down to Ratchanok Intanon, the eighth seed from Thailand, 21-15, 21-10 in 31 minutes.
Former world champion PV Sindhu, who is currently ranked world No. 7, started well to dominate the early exchanges. However, the Chinese shuttler, ranked 34 in the world, took eight consecutive points after trailing 3-5 and maintained her lead to clinch the first game.
The Indian mounted a comeback and took the next game to bring the contest on level terms. The see-saw battle continued in the deciding game but PV Sindhu’s younger opponent chipped in regularly with successive points to win the contest.
PV Sindhu’s Indian compatriot Saina Nehwal, who is making a comeback after missing the Syed Modi International and Odisha Open due to injury, could not match a formidable Ratchanok Intanon.
Indian badminton players impress in men’s singles
Top Indian men’s badminton player Kidambi Srikanth, meanwhile, overcame Lu Guang Zu of China 21-16, 21-23, 21-18 after a 67-minute long contest.
Kidambi Srikanth will face badminton world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Later in the day, HS Prannoy beat world No. 17 Lee Cheuk Yiu 21-19, 24-22. Down 16-20 in the second game, the world No. 24 Indian dug deep to wrap up the match in 50 minutes and storm into the quarter-finals.
World No. 12 Lakshya Sen then managed an upset when he downed Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, a Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist, comfortably in straight games, beating the world No. 5 shuttler 21-7, 21-9 in 34 minutes.
In the doubles, the men’s pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga-Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala got the better of compatriots Ishaan Bhatnagar-Sai Pratheek 23-21, 16-21, 21-14 in just over an hour.
Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, daughter of Indian badminton legend Pullela Gopichand, lost 21-16, 21-12 to top seeds from China Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan in the women’s doubles.
By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Photo : olympics.com
Website : olympics.com