Badminton World Championships: Sindhu, Saina, Srikanth enter round of 16

Sindhu, who received a bye in the opening round, is likely to face USA’s Beiwen Zhang, seeded ninth, in the pre-quarterfinals.

P.V. Sindhu in action during her women's singles match against Taiwan's Pai Yu Po.   -  REUTERS

Two-time silver medallist P.V. Sindhu produced a commanding performance in her opening match at the BWF World Championships on Wednesday.

Sindhu, who had reached the finals of Indonesia Open last month, looked in good touch as she controlled the rallies and outsmarted Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po 21-14, 21-14 in a 43-minute contest.

BWF World Championships | As it Happened

The fifth seeded Indian, who received a bye in the opening round, is likely to face USA’s Beiwen Zhang, seeded ninth, in the pre-quarterfinals.

Sindhu, an Olympic silver medallist, had lost to Zhang at the India Open finals last year.

Saina makes positive start

Eighth seed Saina Nehwal also made a positive start to her campaign, defeating Netherlands’ Soraya De Visch Eijbergen 21-10, 21-11 to set up a clash with Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt.

Kidambi Srikanth on the other hand survived a scare but bounced back to beat Misha Zilberman 13-21, 21-13, 21-16.

Saina Nehwal had a rather easy outing. (File Photo)   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

 

Having lost the opening game, Srikanth took an early lead and maintained his domination to force the match into the decider.

In the third game, Srikanth raced away with a five-point lead and although the Israeli did well to close the gap, the Indian sealed the match without any further hiccups.

Srikanth will now face Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the next round.

Manu Attri, B. Sumeeth Reddy lose

Among others, Indian pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy suffered a 16-21, 19-21 loss to sixth seeded Chinese combination of Han Cheng Kai and Zhou Hao Dong in men’s doubles.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also crashed out after losing 20-22, 16-21 to seventh seeds Du Yue and Li Yin Hui of China.

Earlier, in the first game, Sindhu moved ahead from 5-5 to slowly create a gap and entered the interval with a 11-7 lead.

After the break, Sindhu continued to surge and grabbed six game points when Pai made an error in judgement at the backline. The Indian sealed it with a cross court return.

Sindhu zoomed to a 6-1 lead in the second game before Pai started constructing the rallies and narrowed the deficit to 5-7.

Sindhu’s unforced errors also made life easy for the Taiwanese girl, who showed some great skills and managed to enter the interval with a 11-10 lead after Sindhu found the net.

The Indian, however, changed gears after the break, dishing out some good-looking strokes to eventually enter match point at 20-14 when her rival missed a shuttle at the backline.

She sealed the match next with a precise on-the-line return.

Among others, the Indian pairing of Jakkapudi Meghana and Poorvisha S. Ram went down 8-21, 18-21 to eighth seeds Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto of Japan in the women’s doubles competition.