Following her runners-up finish at the Swiss Open last week, PV Sindhu begins her campaign at the All England Open Badminton Championships on a winning note as she beat World No. 32 Soniia Cheah 21-11, 21-17 in the Round of 32 on Wednesday.
Sindhu started leading in the first game, while her Malaysian opponent closed in at 7-7. Sindhu fired up her game and took an 11-7 lead at the interval. Following the interval, Sindhu looked dominating as Cheah fell short with her errors. Sindhu bagged the game at 21-11.
A close contest ensued in the second game, as both went toe-to-toe to make 10-10. Cheah's error gave Sindhu a solitary point lead at the break. The Malaysian tried to bring back the game to level by denying Sindhu points with crucial smashes, however, Sindhu stood strong to her ground and kept on maintaining the lead. Sheer brute power found Cheah lost as Sindhu took the game to 14-12. A misjudgement by Sindhu made it 14-13. The errors from the Malaysian continued to give Sindhu an edge. A brilliant defence by Shea took her to 17-16 and eventually to 17-17. Sindhu responded quickly to take another point. Errors lead Sindhu close in with three match points and she won 21-17.
Since its inception, the All England Open has been one of the oldest and prestigious badminton tournament. World champion PV Sindhu will aim to finish on the top podium with her fierce rival Carolina Marin deciding to give the tournament a miss. Sindhu's compatriot Saina Nehwal will aim to regain some confidence from this tournament.
The All England Open 2021 though will not carry any point for the Road to Tokyo it serves as a vital preparatory event in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics. Earlier in the day, men's shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap were knocked out in their respective opening matches.