PV Sindhu was knocked out yet again in the early rounds of a competition this year, as she lost in the pre-quarters of the Hong Kong Open Super 500. Along with Sindhu, shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy also lost their respective singles encounters to crash out of the event. However, Kidambi Srikanth provided some relief as he advanced to the quarters – his first in seven months – after claiming a thrilling win over fellow Indian Sourabh Verma in the pre-quarters.
World number six Sindhu lost 18-21, 21-11, 16-21 to Busanan Ongbamrungphan, the world number 18 from Thailand, in 69 minutes to continue her dismal run after winning the gold in the World Championships in August. Since then, she has failed to reach the final stages in competitions in China, Korea and Denmark.
The day started with the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa facing the Japanese duo of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. After putting on a brave show in the first game, the Indians lost the plot thereafter to lose 19-21, 12-21 in 49 minutes.
Prannoy was up next, and he too failed to advance to the next round, going down to sixth seed Jonathan Christie 12-21, 19-21 in only 38 minutes. Former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Kashyap gave it his all and narrowly went down to second-ranked Chou Tien Chan 21-12, 21-23, 10-21 in a game that lasted an hour.
Srikanth emerged as the lone survivor in the day from India as he won 21-11, 15-21, 21-19 against Verma in the second round. The player, who had reached the quarters at the Singapore Open earlier this year, had received a bye from the top-ranked Kento Momota of Japan in his first round but will find it tough in the next round as he faces Olympic champion, Chen Long of China, next.
Earlier Saina Nehwal, Sameer Verma, Sai Praneeth, the women’s doubles pair of Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy and the men’s pair of Satwik and Chirag Shetty had been ousted on Day 1.