Denmark Open: Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth through to second round; third seed PV Sindhu ousted
Saina Nehwal rallied to carve out a hard-fought opening win but PV Sindhu crashed out of the Denmark Open with a stunning loss to American Beiwen Zhang.
Odense: Saina Nehwal rallied to carve out a hard-fought opening win but PV Sindhu crashed out of the Denmark Open with a stunning loss to American Beiwen Zhang in the women's singles event on Tuesday.
Saina defeated Hong Kong's Ngan Yi Cheung 20-22 21-17 24-22 in a draining clash that lasted 81 minutes.
However, third seed Sindhu lost 17-21 21-16 18-21 to Zhang in another tough opening encounter that lasted 56 minutes.
Moving to the next round in the men's singles event was Sameer Verma, who fought past China's Shi Yuqi 21-17 21-18 in the 44 minutes.
However, the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and S Rankireddy exited after losing 17-21 18-21 to Korean team of Seung Jae Seo and Yu Jung Chae.
In a tense match, Saina had to endure a stiff challenge from Cheyung, who she last played back in 2016 and went on to lose that match.
The see-saw battle was a thriller down to the last point with the Indian saving two match points at 21-20 and 22-21 in the final game to emerge triumphant and move ahead.
Saina was also guilty of frittering away a match point of her own when she led 20-19 in the final game.
For Sindhu, this was the third consecutive time that she lost to Zhang. The American shuttler defeated Sindhu in the Indian Open final in February earlier this year.
Rio Olympics silver-medallist Sindhu is going through a difficult phase after winning the silver medal in the Jakarta Asian Games.
She was knocked out in the second round of the Japan Open after a straight-game loss to Gao Fangjie.
The script played out similarly in the China Open, where the 23-year-old suffered an 11-21, 21-11, 15-21 loss to world no 6 Chen Yufei of China in the quarter-finals.
Later in the day, defending champion Kidambi Srikanth eased past local shuttler Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus 21-16, 21-10 to set up a pre-quarter-final clash with Lin Dan.
With the win the two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu extended her dominating head-to-head record against the Turkish shuttler to 4-0
It will be the best ever representation for India at the year-end tournament with as many as seven of them qualifying for the $1,50,000 event.
Reigning world champion Sindhu, seeded third, record a 21-15 21-19 win over Thailand's Supanida Katethong in a 43-minute women's singles match to set up a second-round clash with Spain's Clara Azurmendi