Fuzhou China Open 2018: Indian challenge comes to an end in the quarter-finals

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu

The Indian challenge came to an end in the quarter-finals of the China Open 2018 in Fuzhou, China on Friday after losses suffered by PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, and the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.

Third seed and 2016 champion Sindhu rebounded strongly after losing the first game to eighth seed He Bingjiao but failed to keep the momentum going, slumping to a 17-21, 21-17, 15-21 defeat in 1 hour 10 minutes.

This was her third consecutive defeat to the 21-year-old Chinese following losses at the Indonesia Open and the French Open this year. This was actually an improved display from the World No. 3 Indian against Bingjiao, having surrendered her last match in straight games to the World No. 7 in Paris two weeks ago.

Fourth-seeded Chou Tien Chen was just too solid and too consistent for the 2014 winner Kidambi Srikanth, who was erratic. Even though he did show flashes of his aggression through some jump smashes, he was unable to sustain it for the most part of the match and eventually collapsed to a 14-21, 14-21 defeat to the in-form World No. 3, who has won three titles this year.

For Srikanth too, this was his third straight defeat to Chou, and he now falls to a 1-3 record against the Singapore Open champion.

In an evening match, the men’s doubles pair of Rankireddy and Shetty took the court against the experienced Indonesian duo of Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan. The two-time world champions made a good start against the young Indian pair and bagged the opening game 21-11 only to see Rankireddy and Shetty coming back to take the second game 21-16.

The veteran duo then raised their level and ran away with the deciding game to notch up a 21-11, 16-21, 21-12 win en route to the semi-finals.

The top Indian shuttlers will head next week to the Hong Kong Open, the final Super 500 tournament of the season before the BWF World Tour Finals in December.

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Edited by Rajdeep Puri
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