Promising shuttler PV Sindhu scalped the second biggest Chinese player of her career when she rallied to oust third seed Wang Shixian 15-21, 21-14, 22-20 to cruise into the women’s singles quarterfinals of the Badminton Asian Championship being held in Taipei on Thursday. Sindhu had stunned Olympic champion Li Xuerui last year in the China Super Series tournament immediately after the London Games.
However, fourth seed Parupalli Kashyap tumbled out along with B Sai Praneeth in the men’s singles event. Kashyap, who beat Han Chou Chu of Chinese Taipei 21-17, 21-19 in the third round, fell to 15th seed Huan Gao of China 19-21, 15-21. B Sai Praneeth went down to sixth seed Zhengming Wang of China 15-21, 16-21. The doubles pairing of Pradnya Gadre and Ashwini Ponnappa also lost, falling to Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse of Hong Kong 15-21, 11-21 in 26 minutes.
However, it was Sindhu’s day. Defying all odds, the 17-year-old Indian ousted the world number six to set up a quarterfinal clash with seventh seed Eriko Hirose of Japan. According to chief coach Pullela Gopichand, Sindhu played a very mature game. Talking to TNIE from Taipei, Gopichand said it was one of the better displays by Sindhu. “She played a good all-round game. Although, she lost her focus after leading in the third game, she kept her cool and won the match. She is capable of becoming a good player,” said an elated Gopichand.
Sindhu admitted that she survived few anxious moments in third game. “I don’t know how I lost points when I was leading 17-11. I’m relieved,” said Sindhu to her father PV Ramana.
Shixian started off powerfully, breezing past Sindhu in the first game. But in the second game, Sindhu began to dominate. She took an 11-3 lead and went on to win 21-14.
Sindhu was on song in the third as she jumped to a 17-11 lead. But then she lost focus as Shixian recovered to level at 17-all, winning six successive points. Soon, the Chinese was leading 20-19. But Sindhu held her nerve and stunned her rival by grabbing three points on-the-trot to notch up a 22-20 win.
Saina, Kashyap Maintain Rankings
New Delhi: London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap have retained their second and seventh positions, respectively in the latest list issued by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Thursday. Rising shuttler PV Sindhu has also held on to her 16th place in the women’s singles rankings.