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Huelva match

Two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu beats Thailand’s Chochuwong 21-14, 21-18 to enter Worlds quarterfinals

Published: 17th December 2021 04:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2021 09:21 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI:  PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the last eight stage of the ongoing Badminton World Championships in Huelva on Thursday. While the former got the better off Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong, India’s Srikanth, who has now equalled his best showing at this event, downed China’s Lu Guang Zu.

For Sindhu, the World No 7, the 21-14, 21-18 over the Thai opponent will be satisfying because Chochuwong had troubled her in the past and had beaten Sindhu the last two occasions. The 23-year-old’s tenaciousness could have been a problem but Sindhu, who has never failed to advance to this stage at the Worlds, read her like a favourite book. She was at her physical best and never allowed the Thai, who leads the World Tour rankings, to build any sort of rhythm. The second game was closer but the 26-year-old was clinical in closing down the match without going to overtime.

She needed to do that because lying in wait in the quarterfinals is a familiar name: Tai Tzu Ying. The athlete from Chinese Taipei needs no introduction. The last time these two players faced each other, Tai raced to a comfortable win in 40 minutes in the semifinals of the Olympics. Even if Sindhu has made this often one-sided rivalry somewhat respectable in recent meetings, Tai still leads the head-to-head 14-5 but Sindhu had won two of the last five coming into the Olympics.

So it was understandable that after her match against Chochuwong, Sindhu spent some time talking about her challenge on Friday. “Tomorrow (Friday) it’s against Tai. We’re playing after the Olympics, I just want to do my best because it’s going to be tough,” she told the BWF website.

“Tai is a tricky player and has very good skills so it’s not going to be easy. At times you won’t be able to anticipate her shots but you have to make sure you’re always in the match, making sure you take all the shots, and you have to be patient. The key is to pick all her shuttles, to keep it in the court.” 

That’s exactly what Srikanth will look to do against Mark Caljouw after his impressive 21-10, 21-15 win over the Chinese athlete. If he can, that will akin to taking baby steps towards rediscovering his long lost mojo. 

Results (only Indians)
Men’s singles: Kidambi Srikanth bt Lu Guang Zu 21-10, 21-15; Men’s doubles: Ong Yew Sin/ Teo Ee Yi bt Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/ Chirag Shetty 22-20, 18-21, 21-15; Women’s singles: PV Sindhu bt Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-14, 21-18; Women’s doubles: Jongkolphan Kititharakul/ Rawinda Prajongjai bt Ashwini Ponnappa/ Sikki Reddy 21-14, 21-18.



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