Bengaluru, December 16: PV Sindhu stayed in line for title defence as the ace Indian shuttler stormed into the quarterfinals of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships with a 21-14, 21-18 win over Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong at Heulva, Spain.
The Hyderabai had lost to Chochuwong in her two previous meetings, but this time was Sindhu's turn to exact revenge as it also helped improve her head-to-head record against the Thai opponent to 5-3.
Sindhu was in complete control of the pre-quarterfinal tie which last 48 minutes.
TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021— BWFScore (@BWFScore) December 16, 2021
WS - Round of 16
21 21 🇮🇳V. Sindhu PUSARLA🏅
14 18 🇹🇭Pornpawee CHOCHUWONG
🕗 in 48 minutes
For a place in the semifinals, Sindhu will take on her archrival Tai Tzu Ying, to whom she had lost in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The 26-year-old has been in decent form this season as she claimed her second silver medal at the season-ending World Tour Finals in Indonesia after three successive semifinals finishes at French Open, Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open.
The double Olympic champion will be hoping to end the season on a high with the world title.
Sindhu, who was given a first-round bye, had made mincemeat of her Slovakian opponent Martina Repiska 21-7, 21-9 in the round-of-32 contest in which lasted just 24 minutes at the Palacio de los Deportes Carolina Marin Stadium.
And on Thursday (December 16) it looked as though she was continuing from where she had left after the Repiska match.
Seeded sixth in the tournament which she won in 2019, Sindhu will be hoping to go all the way this time though her task is easier said than done.
Tai Tzu, has proved to be her nemesis with a head-to-head record of 14-5, including wins in last four meetings.
The BWF World Championships, which is being held after a one-year gap (was not held last year due to COVID-19 pandemic) has lost some of its sheen this time with the withdrawals of the entire Indonesian contingent and other elite players such as two-time winner Kento Momota.
The women's singles field also has been left depleted after the withdrawal of three-time champion Carolina Marin and 2017 winner Nozomi Okuhara.
It is also be the first time in her career that London Olympics bronze medallist and 2015 silver medallist Saina Nehwal will miss the Worlds due to multiple injuries.
Meanwhile in the men’s singles round-of-16, Kidambi Srikanth notched up a comfortable win over Lu Gang Zu.
The Indian shuttler marched into the quarterfinals with a cruising 21-10, 21-15 win over the China’s Guang Zu.
Also entering the round-of-eight is HS Prannoy, who scored a hard-fought 16-21, 21-8, 22-20 win over Denmark's Gemke Rasmus.
And in a late evening encounter Lakshya Sen continued his impressive run on the BWF stage as he marched into the quarterfinals with a facile 21-13, 21-8 win against Guatemala's Kevin Cordon.
However it was curtains for India's both doubles pair in the BWF-sanctioned event.
The women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy went down 13-21, 15-21 to Thai pair of Rawinda Prajongjai and Jongkolphan Kititharakul in the 38-minute encounter.
Later, the men's pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty's campaign also ended.
The Indian pair fought hard before going down to Malaysian duo Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi 20-22, 21-18, 15-21 in the match which lasted one hour and eight minutes.