Guwahati, February 14: P V Sindhu on Thursday (February 14) opened her campaign in the 83rd Senior National Badminton Championship with a straight game win over Nagpur's Malvika Bansod to enter the women's singles quarterfinals.
A former champion, Sindhu took time to get into the groove before claiming a 21-11, 21-13 win over Malvika, who is a gold medallist at the South Asian U-21 Championship in Nepal and a runner-up at Khelo India Games.
Like last year, the top eight players of the competition on the combined basis of world and domestic rankings were given direct entry into the singles pre-quarterfinals for which a Super Draw was held on Wednesday night.
Malvika made a dream start, moving to a 4-0 lead. Soon Sindhu clawed her way back to level the scores with a push at the back court. Sindhu eventually grabbed a 11-7 advantage at the break. She continued to force the younger shuttler to commit errors. At 19-11, Sindhu unleashed a couple of smashes to seal the first game.
In the second game, Sindhu was ahead 9-2 with Malvika committing unforced errors. The Hyderabadi went to the break with a 11-4 lead. Malvika played well in the rallies but lacked the finishing touch, committing unforced errors as Sindhu eventually wrapped up her pre-quarterfinal match in 35 minutes with a precise return at the forecourt.