Badminton Asia Championships 2019: PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma exit
The Indian challenge came to an end as PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma crashed out in the 39th edition of Badminton Asia Championships 2019 played at Wuhan, China on Friday.
In the women’s singles, PV Sindhu lost to Cai Yanyan of China in straight games. It was a disappointing performance by the two-time World Championships silver medalist who looked out of sorts. The Indian lost the match 19-21, 9-21 to be knocked out in the quarter-finals. Cai began with a great start, taking an early lead and put pressure on the Indian. Despite PV Sindhu fighting well in the latter half of the first game, Cai won the first game 21-19.
In the second game, Cai played with more aggression and put consistent pressure on the Indian. The Chinese won it easily 21-9 to move into the semi-finals.
Saina Nehwal lost to World number 4 Akane Yamaguchi in three gruelling games by 13-21, 23-21, 16-21. In the first game, the Japanese played aggressive badminton and did not allow Saina to play her natural game. Yamaguchi won the first game 21-13.
Saina showed great fighting spirit in the 2nd game to recover from 6-9 down and played some superb badminton to take an 18-14 lead. Yamaguchi fought back well to give a scare to Saina, but the Indian held her nerves to win the 2nd game 23-21.
In the third game, Saina began on an aggressive note, taking a 6-1 lead, but the Japanese showed great fighting spirit to make a match out of it. From 11-14 down, Yamaguchi took 6 successive points to take a 17-14 lead and then won the match by 21-16.
Sameer Verma was also knocked out in the quarter-finals to Shi Yuqi of China in straight games. It was a disappointing performance by the Indian who did not give a fight to the Chinese, losing by 10-21, 12-21.
The Indian shuttlers returned empty-handed from this prestigious tournament. Last year, Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy won bronze medals.