China Open 2019: Sai Praneeth advances to quarter-finals; PV Sindhu bows out

Sai Praneeth
Sai Praneeth

Sai Praneeth became the only Indian to reach the quarter-finals as the newly-crowned world champion PV Sindhu and former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap both crashed out of the China Open 2019 in Changzhou, China on Thursday.

Fifth seed Sindhu's loss was the most shocking result of the day for the Indian contingent. The Rio Olympic silver medallist began her second-round match against World No. 15 Pornpawee Chochuwong in commanding fashion. Stamping her authority, she took a 21-12 lead. However, the India No. 1 shuttler's joy was short-lived as the young Thai came roaring back to pocket the second game.

In the decider, Sindhu had the upper hand and looked to be heading to the quarter-finals when she led 19-16. But she failed to close out the win thanks to a slew of errors from her racquet combined with some determined play from her opponent, who completed the 12-21, 21-13, 21-19 win in 58 minutes.

Kashyap also staged a stirring fightback against the seventh seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting after losing a highly competitive opening game. The Indonesian, however, proved too strong for him in the end when he notched up a 23-21, 15-21, 21-12 win in 1 hour 10 minutes.

The win set up a quarter-final showdown with the World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth, who had beaten him in their very last meeting in Basel in August. Sai had earlier in the day beaten World No. 21 Lu Guangzu 21-19, 21-19 to reach the last-eight stage.

In doubles, all the three teams in action suffered a loss. Thailand Open men's doubles champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost 19-21, 8-21 to Japanese fourth seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda. In mixed doubles, Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa fared much better, yet could not prevent their 11-21, 21-16, 12-21 loss to Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo.

In women’s doubles, Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy went down 12-21, 17-21 to second seeds Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi.

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Edited by Kingshuk Kusari
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