The Indian badminton contingent continues to deliver good results at the Crown Group Australian Open 2017 in Sydney on Thursday. The latest shuttler to make the news is the fifth seed and World No. 4 PV Sindhu, who made it to the quarter-finals with a facile 21-13, 21-18 victory over the World No. 22 Chen Xiaoxin of China.
However, her path to the title gets considerably tougher as she is very likely to face the top seed and World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-finals. The Chinese Taipei ace, who had her 27-match winning streak snapped last week, has won her past two meetings over Sindhu and has a 6-3 head-to-head record over the Indian.
Sindhu’s second round opponent, Chen Xiaoxin had already accounted for one Indian at this tournament – Ruthvika Shivani Gadde.
But Sindhu is a different ballgame altogether. She built up a commanding lead off 11-6 at the mid-game interval and never let it go.
Steadily, she kept on adding to her tally and took the game away from the Chinese, wrapping up the first game, 21-13.
The second game was completely opposite, though. A rejuvenated Chen came firing out of the blocks as she tried her best not to give Sindhu the comfort level. The Chinese led 5-2 and from there, the game oscillated between the two.
It was only while trailing at 10-11 that the Indian found an extra gear to surge to 14-11 only to see the determined Chen coming back again to make it 17-18.
The Indian was finally able to stave off the late comeback and pocketed three of the next four points to grab the win in 46 minutes.
Earlier in the day, the Indonesia Open champion Srikanth Kidambi shocked the top seed and World No. 1 Son Wan Ho yet again just a few days after achieving the same result at Jakarta.
This time, the score was a 21-15, 13-21, 13-21 win in 57 minutes.
The former World No. 3 next faces his compatriot, Sai Praneeth in a blockbuster all-Indian quarter-final. The Singapore Open winner outlasted Chinese World No. 25 Huang Yuxiang, 21-15, 18-21, 21-13 in 1 hour 4 minutes.
Saina Nehwal has her second round match scheduled later in the day.