Asian Games 2018, Day 5: Badminton Round-Up
All eyes were trained on the Indian shuttlers as they began their individual conquests today at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games 2018.
After a disappointing outing in the Team event, all hopes are again pinned on PV Sindhu, Nehwal, Srikanth to lay their hands on a few medals.
The chances of winning in an individual event are better posed for India with most of the players beginning on a flying start.
PV Sindhu suffered a minor scare but recovered quick, Saina Nehwal glided into the next round, as did Rankireddy-Shetty and Attri-Reddy and the women's doubles pair of Reddy and Ponnappa to go through to the next round.
Day 5 of the Asian Games was peppered with a lot of Indian shuttlers in action on the court. In the opening match, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy began their campaign on the right foot and won their opening badminton doubles match 21-16, 21-15 against Hong Kong.
A clinical performance from the two Indians assured that they gave little quarter to the Hong Kong pair to make much damage.
It was with World Championship silver medalist PV Sindhu's match that the trouble clouds seemed to hover.
Sindhu had to play an unexpected three-setter against Thi Trang Vu of Vietnam who suddenly took command in the second set.
Sindhu battled past the ambitious World Number 52 to topple her eventually in 21-10, 12-21, 23-21 in 58 tense nail-biting minutes.
In complete contrast, Saina just walked into the second round with a crushing 21-7 21-9 win over Iran's Soraya Aghhajiagha in just 26 minutes.
The gold medalist from the Commonwealth Games made a sure and confident start to her campaign and made it seem like just another walk in the park.
In the next round, both Sindhu and Saina play Indonesia players who will have crowd support.
PV Sindhu will take on Tunjung Gregoria Mariska while Saina will lock horns with Fitriani, both of Indonesian descent.
In the doubles, both men's doubles pairs (Rankireddy-Shetty & Attri-Reddy) and the women's doubles pair of Reddy and Ponnappa won.
Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Chun Hei Tam and Yonny Chung of Hong Kong 21-12, 21-14 in Men's Doubles Round of 32.
Also in the women's doubles, Sunil and Panda lost their opener in women's doubles quite miserably. Up against Thailand, Sunil and Panda were ousted in 11-21,6-21.
India's efforts in the mixed doubles met with an early death with both teams being shown the door.
Ponnappa-Rankireddy and Reddy-Chopra lost in their first rounds itself. Up against Malaysia, Reddy-Chopra came down fighting against the World No. 9 pair from Malaysia in 21-15, 23-21.
On the other hand, Rankireddy-Ponnappa committed far too many errors and failed to make a mark and got cast out in 25-27, 16-21.
This is disappointing for the duo who reached the quarterfinals of the World Championships a few days back.
With the back-to-back twin losses, India's campaign comes to an end in mixed doubles on the first day of individual competition itself.