BWF World Championships 2019: Indian players third round roundup - Sindhu, Sai win; Saina exits
While PV Sindhu moved a step closer to securing her fifth medal by entering the quarter-finals, Saina Nehwal crashed out of the BWF World Championships 2019 in Basel, Switzerland on Thursday. But the biggest achievement from the Indian contingent on Day 4 of this prestigious tournament was Sai Praneeth's upset of the World No. 8 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
Sai had come to Basel with a rich vein of form, having reached the semi-finals at the Japan Open and the quarter-finals at Bangkok. With a couple of wins over Ginting already under the belt, the 16th seed put his confidence to good effect against the sixth seed in their third-round clash.
Keeping himself calm, he eked out a hard-fought first game with the score of 21-19. He then upped the ante in the second game and rode on his fabulous placements to knock out the Indonesian, 21-19, 21-13.
Up next for Sai is the fourth seed and World No. 4 Jonatan Christie in his quest for a first-ever medal from the World Championships.
Fifth seed PV Sindhu made short work of a dangerous opponent to book her quarter-final berth. Ninth seed Beiwen Zhang, who has three wins over the Indian, could hardly put up any resistance as Sindhu took control of the first game and then ran through the second to complete a 21-14, 21-6 victory
Sindhu has a tough challenge in the next round for she faces the second seed Tai Tzu Ying, although the Indian did upset the former top-ranked shuttler on her way to the BWF World Tour Finals crown last year.
These were the only two wins from the five Indians in action on Thursday. The biggest casualty was two-time medallist Saina Nehwal who squandered a one-game lead to go down 21-15, 25-27, 12-21 to 12th seed Mia Blichfeldt in a marathon match that lasted 1 hour 12 minutes.
Men's singles seventh seed Kidambi Srikanth continued to struggle before succumbing to a 14-21, 13-21 defeat at the hands of 12th seed Kantaphon Wangcharoen in their first-ever showdown.
HS Prannoy gave his all in a gritty first game against the top seed and World No. 1 Kento Momota. The Japanese, however, withstood it all and showed why he is the planet's best player when he edged the Kerala ace in the opening game and then sailed through the second for a 21-19, 21-12 win.