Hong Kong, Nov 14: Ace India shuttler PV Sindhu started her campaign in the Hong Kong Open Super Series 500 with a hard-fought win as he edged Thailand's Nitchaon Jindapol in the first round here on Wednesday (November 14). Her compatriot Saina Nehwal failed to enter the second round after she was defeated by Japan's Akane Yamaguchi.
Sindhu, the current World No. 3, registered her fourth win over her Thai opponent by defeating her by 21-15, 13-21, 21-17 in a contest that lasted less than an hour and advanced into the second round.
The 23-year-old Hyderabadi shuttler lost the second game against the Thai, but showed her character and resolve to win the third and deciding game to set up a clash with Sung Ji Hyun of Korea in the next round.
Saina fails to clear tough draw:
Saina, who claimed a second Commonwealth Games gold and a bronze at the Asian Games this season, was outclassed by formidable Akane Yamaguchi 21-10, 10-21, 19-21.
In a tightly fought contest, Saina won the first game comprehensively but the second-seeded Japanese came back strongly to win the second game and take the match for the decider.
The duo challenged each other in the final game but Saina lost it by a margin of two points to bow out of the tournament.
Sindhu will now be carrying India's challenge in the Women's Singles. If he prevails over her opponent in the second round then she is likely to face China's He Bingjiao in the quarterfinals, an opponent who has defeated her three times in 2018.
Sindhu finished second best in the last edition after her gallant fight ended in agony against world no 1 Tai Tzu Ying and the Indian will have to once again bring her best to the fore to salvage any hopes of making the podium again in a tough field.
In a gruelling season, Sindhu has managed to claim silver medals at the Commonwealth Games, World Championship and Asian Games. She also reached the finals at the India Open and Thailand Open. At the rear-end of the season, the Indian will have to go full throttle if she has to reach the finals.