PV Sindhu, K Srikanth storm into quarters; Lakshya Sen, Malvika Bansod out of Korea Open

April 8, 2022

BadmintonKorea Open

Ace Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth progressed to the quarterfinals but Lakshya Sen was ousted after losing his second round match at the Korea Open Super 500 badminton tournament in Suncheon on Thursday.

World number seven Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, got the better of world number 26 Japan’s Aya Ohori 21-15 21-10 in a lop-sided contest to take her head-to-head count against the Japanese to an overwhelming 12-0.

The third seeded Indian will next face familiar foe in Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan, whom she had defeated in the final of the Swiss Open last month.

The former world champion, who has claimed two Super 300 titles this season at Syed Modi International and Swiss Open, enjoys a 16-1 lead in 17 meetings against the world number 11 Thai.

World championship silver medallist Srikanth saw off Israel’s Misha Zilberman 21-18 21-6 to set up a clash with local hope and former world no 1 Son Wan ho.

Commonwealth Games silver medallists and world no seven pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean 21-15 21-19 in 36 minutes to also advance to the quarterfinals.

World championship bronze medallist Sen, ranked ninth in the world, went down 20-22 9-21 to world number 24 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in 33 minutes.

The country’s other fast-rising shuttler Bansod also failed to advance to the quarterfinals as she was brushed aside by Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong 8-21 14-21 in a second round women’s singles clash that lasted 39 minutes.

It was curtains for the mixed doubles pair of Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa as well. The duo fought hard but eventually went down 20-22 21-18 14-21 to the fifth seed Chinese combine of Ou Xuan Yi and Huang Ya Qiong in a gruelling battle that lasted close to an hour.

During the 37-minute second round match, Sindhu didn’t look in too much trouble as she kept things under control to reign supreme.

The Indian made a good start and only once did Ohori take a slender one-point lead at 8-7 but it was erased in no time as she comfortably closed out the opening game.

The Japanese did try to make a comeback in the second with a 8-4 lead but it was dealt with authority with Sindhu grabbing 17 of the next 19 points to bang the door on her opponent.

Earlier, sixth seed Sen, who has been in sensational form in the last six months with back-to-back final finishes at German Open and All England Championships, was pipped by Rhustavito in the closely-fought first game.

The 20-year-old Indian then lost steam and struggled in the second to concede the tie meekly.

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