German Open: Sindhu, Saina make early exits; Srikanth, Prannoy reach quarters
Mulheim (Germany), March 10, 2022
The Indian contingent had a mixed day at the German Open BWF World Tour Super 300 badminton event as its hopes in the women's section ended with P. V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal exiting while Kidambi Srikanth and H.S Prannoy made it to the men's singles quarter-finals on Thursday.
Two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu lost to the 2021 world championship bronze medallist Zhang Yi Man 14-21, 21-15, 14-21 in a women's singles second-round match that lasted 55 minutes while Nehwal went down to Thailand's eighth seed Ratchanok Intanon 21-10, 21-15 in 31 minutes.
In the men's singles, Srikanth defeated China's Liu Guang Zu 21-16, 21-23, 21-18 in a second-round match that lasted over one hour. There was more good news for India as HS Prannoy defeated Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong 21-19, 24-22 in another second-round match.
In the men's doubles, India's Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala also made it to the quarter-finals, defeating compatriots Ishan Bhatnagar and Sai Pratheek K in three games, 23-21, 16-21, 21-14 in a second-round encounter.
In the women's singles second round, former world champion Sindhu, who is currently ranked world No 7, started the match on expected lines and dominated the early exchanges. However, the Chinese shuttler, ranked 34 in the world, took eight consecutive points after trailing 3-5 and maintained her lead to clinch the first game.
The Indian mounted a comeback and took the next game to bring the contest on level terms. The see-saw battle continued in the deciding game but Sindhu's younger opponent chipped in regularly with successive points to win the contest.
Saina, who had survived a tough three-game encounter with Clara Azurmendi of Spain in the first round, found Ratchanok too strong in their second-round encounter and lost in straight games. The Thai player was totally in control and won 42 out of the total 67 points played.
Playing China's Lu Guang Zu in the men's singles second round, Srikanth won the first game when he broke away from 10-10. Though his rival caught up with him again at 14-all, the eighth-seeded Indian won four successive points to make it 18-14 and went on to win it 21-16.
Lu came back strongly in the second game, took an early lead and though Srikanth caught up with him at 15-15 and scores went neck-and-neck after that, the Chinese player won two points from 21-21, winning it on this second game point.
After initial skirmishes in the decider, Srikanth had a 10-5 lead but Lu levelled scores at 10-10. The two players fought tooth and nail for every point as the lead changed hands to 15-15 before Srikanth went on to win the game and match at 21-18 to clinch a place in the last eight.