Asian Games 2018: Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu enter quarter-finals as India’s doubles challenge ends
Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu remain the last Indians standing in badminton as they entered the quarter-finals of the women’s singles event at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday while the doubles pairs all exited from this tournament. Both the superstars were in impeccable form and hardly broke a sweat in their Round of 16 matches.
Nehwal blew away the 40th ranked Fitriani in the first game for a score of 21-6. In the second game, the Indonesian made a much better start to have a lead until 8-5. The former World No. 1 then battled back to level the game at 9-9 and tightened the noose on her opponent after the break for a 21-6, 21-14 win.
PV Sindhu had survived a scare in her opening round when she was on the verge of defeat against the World No. 52 Thi Trang (B) Vu. This time there was no such tentativeness or uncertain approach in her shots. What we got to see was a super confident Sindhu, who simply refused to relent.
Sindhu ran away a 21-12, 21-15 winner over the 22nd ranked Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in 34 minutes. At no point of the match did the Rio Olympic silver medallist concede her lead, which was in sharp contrast to the three-game duel that they were involved in at the Thailand Open just a month back.
Attri-Reddy squander match points against world champions
The doubles section saw a heartbreak for the men’s doubles national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy after they came close to causing a major upset in the Round of 16. The two held three match points against the reigning world champions and second seeds Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen and even saved a couple of match points only to suffer a 13-21, 21-17, 23-25 defeat at the end of 52 minutes.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down fighting to an unseeded Korean combine of Choi Solgyu and Min Hyuk Kang 17-21, 21-19, 17-21 in 1 hour 2 minutes in the pre-quarter-finals.
Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy mounted a late comeback into their quarter-final match against the third seeds Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan, but failed to take a game in an 11-21, 22-24 loss. A day earlier, the Indians had become the first women’s doubles pair from the country to make it to the last-eight of the Asian Games since 1986.