Indonesia Open 2017: PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal register wins, mixed-doubles team falters
Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu and her compatriot Saina Nehwal provided spirited performances on what turned out to be a good day for the Indian contingent at the Indonesia Open Super Series. However, the mixed doubles team of Ashwini Ponnappa and Reddy B.Sumeeth was knocked out of the tournament.
Fourth-seeded PV Sindhu started the tournament strongly with a win against Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong. World No. 3 Sindhu was in impeccable form and won the first game with remarkable ease.
The second game was more competitive with the Thai shuttler playing a number of good shots, but Sindhu brushed aside the competition and took the game, winning the match 21-12, 21-19 in 33 minutes. She will face a tougher opponent in USA’s Beiwen Zhang in the next round, who is ranked No.10 in the world.
Saina wins a three-setter
World Number 11, Saina Nehwal showed that she still has the fight left in her when she faced former world champion and 8th ranked Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. Having won the Malaysia Masters earlier this year before missing out on the Sudirman Cup, the 27-year-old Indian was looking to make an impact in this tournament.
Saina made a fine start to the match, taking a 10-4 lead but blew the advantage as Ratchanok came back at 14-14 and then took the game one. In the second game, Saina was in a similar situation, taking a 12-7 lead before her opponent levelled the scores at 16-16. However, the Indian kept her composure and won the second game.
In the final game, Saina dominated and led right from the start and went on to win the match with final score 17-21, 21-18, 21-12. The Haryana-born shuttler will now face Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand in the next round.
‘Mixed’ fortune in doubles
Ashwini Ponnappa and Reddy B. Sumeeth lost out to the 20th ranked Irfan Fadillah and Weni Anggraini from Indonesia to crash out of the tournament. It was up to the more experienced Ponnappa to make it tough for the opposition but she had a poor outing in this fixture.
The 2017 Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold runners-up made a slow start to the match and lost the first game, following which the Indonesian team took control. The second game turned out to be disappointing for the Indians, as well as some very ordinary shotmaking, led to them being outplayed by their opponents.
Irfan and Weni easily defeated the Indian duo 21-12, 21-9 in a match that lasted 29 minutes.
Meanwhile, yesterday, the Indian men’s doubles team won both their qualification matches to make their way into Round 1 of the tournament. The duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty played their first match against Indonesian Altof Barriq and Reinard Dhanriano.
They won a tightly contested game one 22-20 before sealing the win by easily winning the second game 21-9.
Their second match was against another Indonesian team of Sabar Karyaman Gutama and Frengky Wijaya Putra. This was an evenly contested bout, but the Indian shuttlers showed their mettle and prevailed with final score 21-18, 21-16.
Satwiksairaj and Chirag will play their next match against Indonesian pair of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto.
Indian’s in action tomorrow
Men’s Doubles – Chirag Shetty/Satwiksairaj Rankireddy vs. Fajar ALFIAN/Muhammad Rian (Indonesia)
Men’s Singles – Sai Praneeth vs. SON Wan Ho (South Korea), Prannoy H. S. vs. Sinisuka GINTING (Indonesia), Kidambi Srikanth vs.WONG Wing Ki Vincent (Hong Kong)
Women’s Doubles – Ashwini Ponnappa/ Reddy N. Sikki vs. Dian FITRIANI/Nadya MELATI (Indonesia)