Bengaluru: World champion PV Sindhu's campaign in the China Open Super 1000 Series badminton tournament came to an early halt as she suffered a shock 21-12, 13-21, 19-21 loss to Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong in the second round of women's singles.
In one of the biggest upsets of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) sanctioned tournament, which carries a prize money of $1,000,000, the ace Indian shuttler was shown the door by her unheralded opponent, who is ranked 15 in the world.
At the Olympic Sports Centre Xincheng Gymnasium courts, Sindhu won the first game, but Chochuwong restored parity in the second.
It all boiled down to the decider. Sindhu had only herself to blame as she enjoyed leads of 12-7 and 19-15 and was just two points away from winning the match before Chochuwong crawled her way back to win six points in a row to seal the contest which lasted 58 minutes.
Earlier, Sindhu had a smooth sail into the pre-quarterfinals when she beat China's former Olympic gold-medallist Li Xuerui 21-18, 21-12 in the opening round.
But Chochuwong proved a tough nut to crack for her in the round-of-16. With Sindhu's defeat, India's campaign in women's category ended early in China.
It may be recalled that Sindhu's compatriot Saina had also made an early exit after losing to Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan 10-21, 17-21 in the opening round.
It was also the end of the road for Parupalli Kashyap as the Indian went down fighting against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. Kashyap, playing in the evening, was the last Indian player in action on Thursday. The shuttler got off on the wrong foot losing the first game 23-21.
But he showed his fighting grit as he easily secured the second game 21-15. But the Indian failed to carry forward that form as Ginting made short work of him in the decider, defeating the Indian 21-12.
But while Sindhu and Kashyap headed home, Sai Praneeth brought some cheer into the Indian camp as he progressed with an comfortable win over Lu Guang Zu in the men's singles game.
Praneeth saw off Zu in straight games,defeating him 21-19, 21-19. With the win, Praneeth has secured a quarterfinal berth.
Sai Praneeth cruised into the Quarters!⚡️— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) September 19, 2019
🇮🇳’s top shuttler @saiprneeth92 continued his winning streak as he defeated 🇨🇳’s Lu Guang Zu 2️⃣1️⃣-1️⃣9️⃣, 2️⃣1️⃣-1️⃣9️⃣to advanced into the quarterfinals of #ChinaOpenSuper1000.
Keep it up champ!💪#IndiaontheRise #Badminton pic.twitter.com/mylANMz764
Meanwhile, in the men's double category, it was the end of the road for Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy. The duo went down against Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda 21-19, 21-8.
It was a bad day in office for Rankireddy as he also lost the mixed doubles tie along with partner Ashwinin Ponnappa. The duo put up a fight against Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo, which lasted for 54 minutes, before losing 21-11, 16-21, 21-12.
Ponnappa also endured a second loss on the day as she lost the women's double tie along with Sikki Reddy. The duo failed to win a game as Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi ended their tournament, defeating the Indian pair 21-12, 21-17.