Thailand Open 2018: Day 3 Roundup, PV Sindhu marches on to the quarterfinal, surprise exit for HS Prannoy
Earlier in July, HS Prannoy and PV Sindhu had crashed out of the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Open, a Super 1000 tournament with all the major players. While PV Sindhu played well and has now qualified to the Top 8 of Thailand Open, 25-year-old Prannoy was stunned by Sony Dwi Kuncoro.
Ace shuttlers like Chen Long, Srikanth Kidambi, and Shi Yuqi had withdrawn from the Super 500 Thailand Open, most likely opting to rest and recover ahead of the World Championships. This meant that HS Prannoy had the golden opportunity of going all the way and reaching the final in Men's singles, maybe even winning it. However, it was not meant to be and the ace Indian shuttler could not capitalize at the opportunity thrown at him.
The Delhi-born player lost 18-21, 14-21 to the Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who has certainly been the surprise package of the tournament. In the other Men's singles match of Round 2, Parupalli Kashyap lost 18-21, 21-18, 19-21 to the Japanese Kanta Tsuneyama. Kashyap showed great resilience and played really well to grab the 2nd set, however, Kanta overpowered him towards the end of the third set.
Will Sindhu be able to make it to the Semifinals?
Sindhu has been on fire in this tournament and has not dropped a single set en route to the quarterfinals. India's number 1 shuttler brushed aside the challenge of the Bulgarian Zetchiri in the Round 1 fixture, winning 21-8, 21-15. Although Hong Kong's Yip Pui Yin gave Sindhu a tough fight, Sindhu's smashes were just too hot to handle for her. The 23-year-old won the Round 2 match 21-16, 21-14 in straight sets, setting up her quarterfinal clash with Soniia Cheah.
The unseeded Malaysian does not pose much of a threat to the 2nd seeded Sindhu. However, even Prannoy lost to unseeded Sony Dwi in the Round 2 match, hence PV Sindhu would not be taking the Kuala Lumpur-born shuttler lightly and go all guns blazing in the quarters. Sindhu is placed in the easy bottom half of the draws but may have an extremely difficult challenge in the final -- which she is likely to reach -- as top seed Akane Yamaguchi, and the Japanese Nozomi Okuhara are both in the top half of the draw.
Over to the Men's Doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost to Japanese duo of Hiyoyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe. It was a nerve-wracking encounter but ultimately the Japanese pair came back from a set down and won 22-24, 21-13, 21-19 in a match that lasted 1 hour and 6 minutes.
The Indian challenge ended in the Mixed Doubles as well -- as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Ashwini Ponnappa were easily overpowered by the Japanese pair of Yuki Kaneka/Mayu Matsumoto.
PV Sindhu is now the sole Indian at the Thailand Open after today's results. A rather disappointing day for Indian badminton fans in totality.