World Badminton Championships 2018: PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advance; HS Prannoy crashes out
In a tale of contrasting fortunes for three of India’s top singles shuttlers, both PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth progressed into the pre-quarter-finals of the World Badminton Championships 2018 in Nanjing, China on Wednesday, but HS Prannoy exited the tournament.
A year after losing a gruelling final to Nozomi Okuhara, PV Sindhu opened her World Championships challenge with a commanding performance. The third seed hardly put a foot wrong in her 21-14, 21-9 rout of the 41st ranked Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia.
Up next for the Rio Olympic silver medallist is the ninth seed Sung Ji Jyun in a blockbuster third round showdown on Thursday.
In men’s singles, fifth seed Kidambi Srikanth rebounded from losing the middle game and notched up a 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 win over Spain’s Pablo Abian. The latter had been performing pretty well for the last couple of months and won the White Nights International earlier this month. That confidence got reflected in his display when he managed to take a game off the sixth-ranked Indian.
Srikanth, who is searching for his maiden medal from this prestigious tournament, will next lock horns with World No. 38 Daren Liew of Malaysia in his quest for a quarter-final berth.
11th seeded HS Prannoy’s campaign came to a grinding halt after a strong start against the 39th ranked Ygor Coelho. The Kerala shuttler outplayed the Brazilian 21-8 in the first game only to fall short 21-8, 16-21, 15-21 in the end.
Having got a walkover from former World No. 1 Son Wan Ho in the first round, B Sai Praneeth finally got his campaign under way with an effortless 21-18, 21-11 win over Spain’s Luis Enrique Penalver. He will take on Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in the next round.
Swiss Open champion Sameer Verma’s run came to an end in the second round when he was shown the door 17-21, 14-21 by the ninth seed Lin Dan, a five-time world champion.
Indian challenge ends in men’s and women’s doubles
India’s challenge got over in men’s and women’s doubles on Wednesday with three pairs suffering losses. A day after upsetting the Rio Olympic bronze medallists and Commonwealth Games gold medallists, Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down fighting 18-21, 21-15, 16-21 to the eighth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in 1 hour 7 minutes.
National champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also put up a valiant fight before bowing out with a 24-22, 13-21, 16-21 loss to the seventh seeds Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko.
Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy were outplayed 14-21, 15-21 by the second seeds Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in women’s doubles.
The only doubles pair to survive is the mixed doubles combine of Ponnappa and Rankireddy. They face the seventh seeds Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai of Malaysia in the pre-quarter-finals.