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China Open 2017: PV Sindhu remains the last Indian standing as Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy exit

A round-up of all the Indian results from Day 3 of the 2017 China Open.

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News 16 Nov 2017, 18:51 IST
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Australian Open Badminton Media Call
PV Sindhu was the only Indian who could smile on Thursday

Defending champion PV Sindhu was left the last Indian standing as both Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy bowed out in the second round of the $700, 000 Tahoe China Open at Fuzhou, China on Thursday. Sindhu was relentless in her 21-15, 21-13 second round defeat of the World Junior Championships runner-up, Han Yue that took just 40 minutes.

The World Championships silver medallist never relinquished control and established an early lead of 11-8 after breaking away from an 8-8 tie. She then pulled away to a 16-12 advantage before closing out the first game, 21-15.

In the second game, she opened up a 6-0 lead before her 17-year-old opponent could even get on the board. Sindhu cruised to 11-3 at the mid-game interval and even though the youngster reduced the deficit to just three points, Sindhu soon extended her lead and slammed shut the match.

The second seed next meets the 89th ranked Chinese qualifier, Gao Fangjie for a place in the semi-finals.

Prannoy complains about poor scheduling in loss

HS Prannoy got just about 13 hours between his first round match that finished at 11.30pm on Wednesday night and his second round match that was scheduled at 12.30pm on Thursday afternoon. The India No. 2, who climbed to a career-high World No. 10 today, was evidently tired and could not put in much of an effort, as revealed by him on social media.

The Kerala shuttler went down fighting 19-21, 17-21 to the World No. 50 Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong in 42 minutes. Prannoy’s marathon 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 first round win over Lee Dong Keun took 1 hour 29 minutes to finish last night.

Also read: BWF Rankings: HS Prannoy breaks into the top 10 for the first time

Fourth consecutive loss to Yamaguchi for Nehwal

World No. 4 Akane Yamaguchi has become a nemesis for Saina Nehwal of late, with the former World No. 1 failing to read the Japanese’s deceptive shots time and again. The Indian suffered her fourth consecutive loss to the diminutive Japanese, all of which have come this year.

Nehwal looked the better player in the first game for more than half of the opening game and led 15-13 before allowing Yamaguchi to come back and level things up at 17-17. The latter pretty much never let Saina back into match since that point as she closed out a 21-18, 21-11 victory in 37 minutes.

This is the third straight Superseries tournament where Nehwal was shown the door by Yamaguchi.

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