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Fuzhou China Open 2018: PV Sindhu enters second round; doubles pairs suffer defeat

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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414   //    07 Nov 2018, 00:13 IST

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu

While 2016 champion PV Sindhu entered the second round of the Fuzhou China Open 2018 without dropping a game, India suffered twin defeats in doubles on Day 1 of this Super 750 tournament. The third-seeded Sindhu needed 29 minutes to stave off a late challenge from Russia’s World No. 30 Evgeniya Kosetskaya on her way to a 21-13, 21-19 win.

Kosetskaya kept it competitive in the initial stages of the match as the two were tied till 5-5. The lower-ranked shuttler then took quick points to inch ahead to 7-5.

Sindhu stormed back to bag six consecutive points and push ahead to 11-7 at the time of the mid-game interval. It was then evident that she was controlling the proceedings. Even though Kosetskaya made a brief fightback and made it a three-point gap at 11-14, Sindhu managed to steadily add points to her kitty and go up to 16-12.

In a matter of minutes, Sindhu grabbed the next three points and raced ahead to 19-12 before closing out the opening game.

In the second game, the Indian became the early aggressor and established a 2-0 lead. After a spirited show from Kosetskaya, Sindhu took a slender lead of a solitary point to move ahead to 11-10. Sindhu leapt to 15-12 after the mid-game break only to see the Russian level it at 15-15.

Sindhu again imposed her authority but Kosetskaya still did not give up and levelled matters at 19-19 for the last time, following which the Indian completed the win in 29 minutes.

The World No. 3 next takes on the 26th ranked Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand for a place in the quarter-finals.

In sharp contrast, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy put up a valiant fight but eventually went down 19-21, 21-15, 17-21 to the Japanese sixth seeds Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto.

It was a heartbreaking loss for men’s doubles national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who squandered six game points in the second game to bow out 16-21, 25-27 to the sixth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

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