2019 China Open: Sai Praneeth keep Indian hopes alive, PV Sindhu faces quarterfinal exit
After World Championship success last month, Sai Praneeth extended his sublime run to enter the quarters
India’s men’s singles star Sai Praneeth took on the mantle to keep the Indian hopes alive as the remaining shuttlers crashed out of the China Open Super 1000 earlier today at Changzhou, China.
Sai Praneeth, who scripted history last month to end India’s 36 years wait by winning the bronze at the World Championship continued his sublime form to advance to the quarter-finals. The Indian World No 15 looked in ominous touch with his array of impressive big smashes, cross-court drops and a splendid net game as he wrapped up the match without dropping any games at 21-19, 21-19.
Finalist at the Canada Open Super 100 earlier this year, Parupalli Kashyap was the only other men’s singles shuttler in the fray. Going down in the first game against seventh seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, the Indian made amends for his errors to pull back the second. Despite the valiant effort Kashyap failed to convert the clinical points in his favour, succumbing the match in the decider.
However, it was a disappointing day for reigning world champion PV Sindhu who faced an early exit after going down in an unfortunate loss against Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong in a thrilling encounter that lasted almost an hour. The 24-year-old Indian until today has enjoyed an unblemished record against the Thai but squandered a first-game advantage to go down 12-21, 21-13, 21-19 in a match that lasted precisely 58 minutes.
On the other hand, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy had a dismal day as he suffered twin defeats, losing both the men's doubles and mixed doubles pre-quarterfinals.
In men's doubles, Satwik and Chirag Shetty, ranked 15th in the world, ran out of steam after a decent start against fourth-seeded Japanese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda and went down 19-21, 8-21 in the second-round match that lasted 33 minutes.
This is the second time Satwik and Chirag have lost to the combination of Kamura and Sonoda this year. They had lost to the world no.4 pair at the Japan Open in July.
Satwik then paired up with his mixed doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa but the duo couldn't get past Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo, losing 11-21, 21-16, 12-21 to the Japanese pair.
Ashwini Ponnappa failed to overturn her misfortunes as she suffered a similar fate with partner Sikki Reddy in the women’s doubles. The girl-duo put up a resilient display to restrict the second seeds but unfortunately succumbed against the Japanese pair of Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo of Japan. 21-17, 21-17 in a 55 minute long battle.