Kuala Lumpur: Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the pre-quarterfinals after pulling off contrasting wins in the opening round of the USD 7,00,000 Malaysia Open badminton tournament here, Wednesday.
Sindhu, who had skipped the Uber Cup Finals to regain full fitness after claiming a silver at the Gold Coast CWG, took some time to get into the groove before she edged out World No.14 Japan’s Aya Ohori 26-24, 21-15 in the opening round.
The third-seeded Indian will meet Malaysia’s Ying Ying Lee at the Axiata Arena here Thursday.
In men’s singles, World No.7 Srikanth dumped former World No.2 Jan Jorgensen of Denmark 21-18 21-9 in a 31-minute clash here. Jorgensen incidentally was returning from a four-month injury lay-off.
The 25-year-old from Guntur will next face Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei, who defeated B Sai Praneeth 21-12, 21-7, in the other opening round match.
In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty’s campaign ended after a 16-21, 15-21 loss to seventh-seeded Japanese combo of Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko.
In men’s singles, Srikanth largely dominated proceedings as he led 5-0 and then 13-8 at one stage in the first game. Jorgensen levelled at 13-13 and grabbed a small 18-17 lead but in the end, two errors at the net cost him the opening game.
In the second game, Srikanth and Jorgensen fought hard to move to five-all before the Indian broke away to grab an 11-6 lead at the interval with a solid smash.
He kept dominating the rallies and eventually reached match point with another powerful smash, sealing the contest when the Dane went long.
In the women’s singles, the first game between Sindhu and Ohori was a close-fought affair. Sindhu’s slender 8-6 lead evaporated as Ohori played some brilliant shots to lead 12-10 and 15-13.
But then Sindhu started hitting winners on a consistent basis to achieve a slender two-point lead at 19-17. The Japanese then reeled off three straight points to lead 20-19. However, Sindhu responded with a down-the-line smash to take the game to deuce.
Sindhu then had three gamepoints but failed to convert and was looking down the barrel when she was down 23-24. However, she respondend magnificently to reel of three points and close the game 26-24.
In the second game, Sindhu eked out a slender 8-6 lead at one stage and despite a fightback by Ohori, she managed to break free at 14-14 to comfortably seal the contest.
At a glance
PV Sindhu bt Aya Ohori 26-24, 21-15
Kidambi Srikanth bt Jan Jorgensen 21-18 21-9
B Sai Praneeth lost to Wang Tzu Wei 12-21, 7-21