India’s double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu showed great determination to outwit a tenacious Aya Ohori in the opening round of the Indonesia Open Super 1000 event in Bali on Wednesday. (More Badminton News)
After a slow start, Sindhu, the reigning world champion, engineered a turnaround to register a hard-fought 17-21, 21-17, 21-17 win over Japanese Ohori in one hour 10 minutes to advance to the pre-quarterfinals.
With the win, Sindhu improved her impressive record against the Japanese shuttler to 11-0. World No.7 Sindhu, who made a semifinal exit after suffering a straight-game defeat to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi here last week, will meet 23-year-old German shuttler Yvonne Li in the second round.
It will be the first meeting between the third seed Indian and world No. 26 Li. The mixed doubles pairing of N Sikki Reddy and Dhruv Kapila made a first-round exit, losing to the Japanese duo of Kyohei Yamashita and Naru Shinoya 7-21, 12-21.
In the men’s singles, world No. 16 B Sai Praneeth clinched a 21-19, 21-18 win over France’s Toma Junior Popov. In a repeat of last week’s Indonesia Masters quarterfinal, Srikanth once again got the better of compatriot HS Prannoy.
The former world No.1 Srikanth, who is coming off two back-to-back semifinal finishes at Hylo Open and Indonesia Masters, continued his good run of form as he eked out a 21-15, 19-21, 21-12 victory over Prannoy in 56 minutes.
While Praneeth will next take on Christo Popov of France in the second round, Srikanth will meet the winner of the first-round clash between Tokyo Olympics gold medallist second seed Dane Victor Axelsen and Japan's Koki Watanabe.
The mixed doubles pairing of N Sikki Reddy and Dhruv Kapila, however, made a first-round exit, falling to the Japanese duo of Kyohei Yamashita and Naru Shinoya 7-21, 12-21. It was a bad day in the office for Reddy who made a first-round exit in the women's doubles event as well.
Reddy and veteran shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa went down 27-29, 18-21 to the fifth-seeded Bulgarian duo of Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva.