PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal kept India’s hopes alive by advancing to the quarterfinals of the All England Open badminton championship in Birmingham on Thursday. PV Sindhu looked unstoppable as she thumped Indonesia’s Dinar Dyah Ayustine 21-12, 21-4 while Saina Nehwal overcame Germany’s Fabienne Deprez 21-18, 21-10. (HIGHLIGHTS)
Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu was on song right from the very beginning as she opened up a two-point lead early on before consolidating it to lead 11-5 at the break of the first set.
Ayustine did manage to pull things back in her favour after the break but fell to PV Sindhu’s class as the Indian took the first set 21-12 in just 16 minutes.
The second set had class written all over it as PV Sindhu opened up a nine-point lead before Ayustine earned her first point. The Indonesian picked three points in a row after that but at the break PV Sindhu was still leading 11-3. She however raced to 18-3 befor finishing off the match emphatically.
Saina Nehwal didn’t open with a cushy lead despite playing an opponent ranked 63rd. She was leading 8-4 in the first set before the German’s counter saw it evenly poised at 14-14.
At 18-17, Fabienne Deprez was at Saina Nehwal’s heels but the Indian finally broke free to take a three-point lead to win the first set.
Boosted by the first set win, Saina Nehwal quickly opened a five-point lead in the second set. Fabienne Deprez clearly had no answer to Saina Nehwal’s repertoire as she quickly wilted under pressure, allowing the Indian to race to 20-10 before wrapping up the second set and the match. In the men’s pre-quarterfinal, HS Prannoy was beaten 21-13, 21-5 by China’s Tian Houwei.