Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa out of Australian Open
Sydney, Australia: Top Indian doubles shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were ousted from the $750,000 Australian Open Superseries as they lost in straight games to Indonesians Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii at the Sydney Olympic Park here on Thursday.
The fourth seeds beat Jwala and Ashwini 21-14, 21-10 in 32 minutes in the women's doubles second round to proceed to the quarter-finals. Gutta and Ponnappa’s earlier match had been an easy victory, completed in under half an hour, over the Dutch doubles pair of Samantha Barning and Iris Tabeling. They lost to the fourth-seeeded Indonesian pair of Maheswari and Polii.
Shuttler P.V. Sindhu also lost a tough fight in a one-hour 12-minute women's singles battle against nemesis and former world Champion Yihan Wang. The Chinese eighth seed lost the first game 18-21, but came out stronger to win the next two 21-15 and 25-23 to take a 4-1 lead in career meetings over the World No.12. Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap were both lost their openers in enthralling battles against their Chinese opponents, and are now out of the Open.
Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal play their respective matches later in the day. Both players won their previous rounds well.
While Saina gunned down the challenge thrown at her by Malaysia's Cheah Lyddia Yi Yu by pocketing the contest in straight games, 21-12, 21-10, and looked confident throughout the game, Srikanth had a back-and-forth contest with Danish Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who took the first game 21-14. Srikanth fought back against a strong attack to take the second game very convincingly, wining 21-8. He faltered in the next game, handing the advantage to the Dane, but again fought back in Game #4 to eventually take the victory.
With this win, Kidambi Srikanth equalled his head-to-head with Vittinghus, with one game to each of them.
Srikanth’s next match, due to be played today, is against World Number 10 Tian Houwei of China, who beat him the last time the two sparred off in February, in Malaysia.
Saina will also face a Chinese competitor – Sun Yu, with whom she has faced off 4 times, winning 3 of their contests.