Indonesia Open: HS Prannoy and Srikanth Kidambi shine as the women depart
On a day of mixed fortunes for the Indian contingent at the BCA Indonesia Open in Jakarta, it was the men who shone while the women bowed out in the second round. HS Prannoy and Srikanth Kidambi caused big upsets by sending home the top seed Lee Chong Wei and fourth seed Jan O Jorgensen respectively.
Prannoy posted a superb 21-10, 21-18 victory over the Malaysian legend. Srikanth, in contrast, had a tougher road to victory when he eked out a 21-15, 20-22, 21-16 win over the Danish ace Jorgensen.
Superstars Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, however, failed to continue the winning streak. Saina fell to the 14th ranked Nitchaon Jindapol 15-21, 21-6, 16-21 which was followed by the fourth-seeded Sindhu’s 21-15, 12-21, 18-21 exit to the 10th ranked Beiwen Zhang.
But it was Prannoy’s big win that became the talking point of the day. The World No. 25 was in doubt about his participation at this prestigious Superseries Premier event after having passport issues. He not only made it to Jakarta but even stunned the reigning All England champion with his powerful game and quiet confidence.
He first built a 7-1 advantage through his fabulous shotmaking and then extended that lead to 11-7, eventually closing out the game at 21-10.
As expected, Lee was there for the fightback but Prannoy was cautious not to let him in. The Indian raced ahead to 10-6 and then 16-13 only to see the World No. 3 coming back to even the game at 17-17.
Prannoy passed the test of nerves with flying colours as he pulled through in 40 minutes. This was his maiden triumph over the former World No. 1 against whom he had a 0-2 losing head-to-head record prior to this showdown.
Up next for him is the eighth seed and Rio Olympic champion Chen Long.
Resurgent Srikanth marches on
Srikanth Kidambi, meanwhile, continues his resurgence. The Singapore Open runner-up needed 57 minutes to grind out the three-game gruelling win over the ninth-ranked Jorgensen.
For the Guntur-born shuttler, World No. 19 Tzu Wei Wang awaits in the last-eight on Friday.
Saina, Sindhu bow out
Saina and Sindhu’s losses marred what could have been a perfect day for India. The three-time champion Nehwal had a whopping 7-0 record over her Thai opponent Jindapol but failed to capitalise on it even after producing a stunner of a second game.
Sindhu too squandered a bright start against a player she had defeated three out of three times. She was on level terms in the tight third game till 17-17 after which the American raced to the finish line.