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China Open: Sindhu advances to Round 2, Saina exits

Last updated on: September 18, 2019 22:51 IST

PV Sindhu

IMAGE: India's P V Sindhu needed just 34 minutes to get the better of former Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui. Photograph: BAI Media/Twitter

Reigning World champion and title favourite P V Sindhu sailed into the pre-quarter-finals at the China Open Super 1000 tournament with a convincing straight-games victory over former Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui, in Changzhou, on Wednesday.


India's top shuttler beat the Chinese 21-18, 21-12 in just 34 minutes to set up a clash with Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong.

Replicating her World Championships form, the Olympic silver medallist produced another strong performance to get the better of the 20th-ranked Chinese, who entered the match with a 3-3 record against the Indian.

Men's singles players Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap also progressed to the second round after notching contrasting opening-round wins.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy too  found a place in the pre-quarter-finals after crossing the opening hurdle in the women's doubles.

However, Saina Nehwal made an early exit, losing to Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the women's singles.

The London Olympics bronze medallist lost 10-21, 17-21 to world No.19 Ongbamrungphan in 44 minutes at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium.

It was the former world number one's second successive loss to the Thai player. The 29-year-old Saina has struggled for form following her recovery from injuries.

She started her season with a win at the Indonesia Masters but has failed to reach another final on the BWF circuit so far.

In the men's singles, World Championships bronze medallist Praneeth had to battle for an hour and 12 minutes to get past Thailand's Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-19, 21-23, 21-14, while former top 10 player Kashyap beat France's Brice Leverdez 21-12, 21-15 in 38 minutes.

Next world No 15 Praneeth will face China's Lu Guang Zu, while Kashyap lock horns with seventh seeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.

In the women's doubles, Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy after their opponents Chinese Taipei's Cheng Chi Ya and Lee Chih Chen retired mid-way in the second game after trailing 13-21, 8-11.

The men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, however, crashed out of the competition, losing 15-21, 15-21 to Indonesian second seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.

The duo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki also lost to Germany's Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich 12-21, 21-23 to bow out.