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Sindhu, Prannoy crash out as Indian challenge ends in Indonesia

By Sajith B Warrier
PV Sindhu

Jakarta, July 7: Indian challenge at the Indonesian Open badminton ended after PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy suffered straight-game quarterfinal defeats in the BWF Super Series 1000 tournament.

World no 3 Sindhu, a silver medallist at Rio Olympics and World Championship, lost 14-21, 15-21 to Chinese world no 7 He Bingjiao in 37 minutes. It was her sixth loss to the left-handed shuttler in 11 meetings.

Prannoy, seeded eighth, went into the match with a 1-3 head-to-head count against All England champion Shi Yuqi. He seemed to match Shi Yuqi in the rallies but lacked precision in his finishing touches. As a result, the third-seeded Chinese lead 11-8 at interval in both the games and eventually notched up a 21-17 21-18 win in 39 minutes to reach the semifinals.

The opening match between Sindhu and Bingjiao opened on an even keel as both the players looked to outdo each other in the rallies. At one stage, Bingjiao lead 10-8 but Sindhu managed to erase the deficit before a net return error gave an 11-10 lead at the break.

Sindhu failed to curb unforced errors and easy mistakes after the interval as the Chinese lead 19-11. Sindhu lost a video challenge before a precise return helped Bingjiao grab the opening game.

Sindhu zoomed to a 5-1 lead but it soon evaporated as Bingjiao drew parity at 6-6. The Indian made a few judgement errors at the backline to allow the Chinese to lead 10-8. Another shuttle drifted wide and it was advantage Bingjiao again.

Sindhu continued to struggle with her strokes, hitting long or at net. Bingjiao also showed immaculate defence to lead 17-11. She was also called for a fault at net. The match ended after Sindhu hit the net and failed to connect a return.

In the men's singles earlier in the day, Shi Yuqi opened up a 6-3 lead early on before extending it to 8-5 and then went into the break at 11-8 when Prannoy failed to reach a shot in the forecourt.

The Chinese reeled off four straight points which Prannoy snapped after pouncing on a return and sending it at the backline. At 13-17, Prannoy made Shi Yuqi twist and turn on the court before unleashing a smash beyond the reach of the diving Chinese. A body smashes hit Prannoy's face and then he committed an error at the net before Shi Yuqi sent a cross-court smash to reach four game points. Prannoy saved one but hit long next as the Chinese grabbed the opening game.

Prannoy grabbed the initial two points but Shi Yuqi came back to turn the tables and soon held an 11-8 lead again at the break when Prannoy hit wide. The Indian managed to narrow the gap to 16-17 before clawing back at 18-18 after winning a net dribble. But Prannoy hit long and then found net to lose the match eventually.

(With PTI inputs).

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    Story first published: Saturday, July 7, 2018, 16:48 [IST]
    Other articles published on Jul 7, 2018
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