India Open 2018: PV Sindhu, Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Sikki Reddy enter semi-finals; Saina Nehwal exits
Indian shuttlers had a dismal outing in the quarter-finals of the $350,000 Dr Akhilesh Das Gupta India Open 2018 with only PV Sindhu and the mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy winning their matches at this BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament held in New Delhi on Friday.
Two-time champion Saina Nehwal cut a sorry figure as she succumbed to a 10-21, 13-21 defeat to the fifth seed and World No. 11 Beiwen Zhang. The former World No. 1 looked very fatigued and listless and was troubled time and again by the American’s array of tight net shots.
The fourth seeded Saina, who returned to the top 10 in the world rankings, reached the final of the Indonesia Masters last week after beating three top-10 shuttlers. Playing two weeks in a row took a toll on her, which was evident in her sluggish movement.
Top seed and defending champion PV Sindhu too wasn’t at her best and conceded a game before regrouping to notch up a 21-12, 19-21, 21-11 win over the eighth seeded Beatriz Corrales of Spain in 54 minutes.
Sindhu saved three game points in the first game but failed to save the fourth one as Corrales won the second game thanks to a lucky net cord. The World No. 4 will next take on the third seed and Malaysia Masters champion Ratchanok Intanon.
Eighth seeded mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy needed 24 minutes to thrash China’s Han Chengkai and Cao Tong Wei 21-8, 21-13. They will next meet the fifth seeds Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen, who beat Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-17, 21-11.
Sai, Sameer, Kashyap crash out
Among the other Indians, eighth seed B Sai Praneeth went down to the third seed Chou Tien Chen 15-21, 13-21. Sameer Verma, who ousted the seventh seed Anders Antonsen in the first round, wasn’t the same player anymore.
The Syed Modi International champion lost 17-21, 14-21 to Malaysia’s 86th ranked Zulkarnain Iskandar. The latter has been a giant-killer at this tournament and had sent the second seed Kidambi Srikanth packing in the second round.
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap too was a pale shadow of himself and went down 16-21, 18-21 to the 35th ranked Qiao Bin of China.
In men’s doubles, the national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy gave a tough fight to the top seeds and World No. 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo before losing 19-21, 19-21.
Women’s doubles sixth seeds Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy suffered a 17-21, 21-23 defeat at the hands of Du Yue and Li Yinhui of China. Seventh seeds Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram lost 10-21, 15-21 to the second seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.