The last time they’d met was two years ago. Though she had a 5-0 record against Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungphan, PV Sindhu couldn’t take anything for granted. A recent spell of early exits with the Rio Olympics looming large, the Indian had to fight for every point in the second round of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open on Thursday afternoon, especially after losing the first game.
“I haven’t played her for long. So needed that much room to assess her game. I made errors on the drop and lost a couple of points to bad judgment,” said the world No 11, shaking her head after her long-drawn battle at the Siri Fort Stadium.
Though the Indian finally won 17-21, 21-19, 21-16 in 76 minutes to set up a quarterfinal date with South Korea’s Bae Yeon-ju, Sindhu was just happy to have passed the Thai test.
“I was leading and then giving away points. Even some line judgements were not right. I am happy to win and hope to play better tomorrow (in the quarterfinals),” she added.
Second seed Saina Nehwal didn’t face much trouble in reaching the last-eight stage as she beat Thai Nitchaon Jindapol 21-19, 21-14 in an evening match.
Among other Indians, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy suffered a 19-21, 12-21 loss to Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin, while Jishnu Sanyal and Shivam Sharma lost 17-21, 15-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Lee Sheng Mu and Tsai Chia Hsin in another men’s doubles match.
Lin Dan, the current world No 2 and six-time All England champion, was stunned by South Korea’s Son Wan Ho. The Chinese superstar, who is hoping to win his third gold at Rio, was sent packing in the second round of the men’s singles, losing 13-21, 20-22.
Joining him was his ‘fiercest rival’ Lee Chong Wei, the former world No 1 from Malaysia. Seeded No 1, Chong Wei was shocked by Hong Kong’s Wei Nan 21-19, 21-19 in just 42 minutes.
The men’s draw lost the third seed too, with China’s Xue Song getting the better of Danish Jan O Jorgensen 21-18, 15-21, 21-14.