China Open 2018: Sindhu, Srikanth in quarters, doubles campaign overSeptember 21, 2018
P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth survived a scare to advance to the quarter-finals of China Open 2018 as both their Round of 16 matches against Thailand shuttlers stretched to three games in Changzhou on Thursday.
While Sindhu came back from behind to win the match, Srikanth was forced to battle even harder as his Thai opponent Suppanyu Avihingsanon took the match to the very edge in the deciding game.
Sindhu overcame a stiff challenge from Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-23, 21-13, 21-18 to set up a quarter-final meet with either Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea or China’s fifth seed Chen Yufei.
Srikanth, on the other hand, staved off a late surge by Avihingsanon to win 21-12, 15-21, 24-22 in an hour and three minutes and will face the shuttler of the hour Japan’s Kento Momota in the quarters.
While India’s singles campaign stayed on course, the doubles campaign got over as all three doubles combination in fray lost to their respective opponents.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 16-21, 10-21 to the sixth seed Danish combination of Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pederson in 40 minutes in Round 2 of mixed doubles.
Right after that, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy were completely outplayed in their men’s doubles Round 2 match against Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin and lost 9-21, 10-21 in just 24 minutes.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponappa always had a huge hill to climb in their mixed doubles Round 2 match against world No.1 Chinese pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong and went down 14-21, 11-21 in 28 minutes.
Sindhu looked tired in her match against Ongbamrungphan as she also struggled to find the lines. Even though her Thai opponent played very skillfully, it was Sindhu’s mistakes that allowed the match to go so close.
Though Ongbamrungphan took the first game, Sindhu took control of the match thereafter and played some quick strokes and with sharp angles to win her rallies. The change of side also looked like it worked for Sindhu as she began to find her lines and she comfortably took the second game.
The third game was a see-saw battle with both the players juggling points but after the break, Ongbamrungphan made a slew of errors as Sindhu took a massive 16-10 lead.
However, it was Sindhu’s turn to make errors as she gave the Thai shuttler six straight points to give her a 17-16 lead.
Ongbamrungphan though could not keep a check on her nerves and made some silly errors while Sindhu dug deep to eke out a victory in an hour and nine minutes.
Kidambi Srikanth, on the other hand, dominated the early passage of play against Avihingsanon and easily pocketed the first game. However, the Thai stormed right back and Srikanth made a number of errors to let the second game slip out.
Srikanth pretty much remained in control of the decider and earned three match point opportunities. But he let go of all the three chances as Avihingsanon level the game 20-20.
Avihingsanon then earned a match point and went up 21-20, only for Srikanth to level it up and then take the next points to win the match.