2:34 am - Wednesday September 26, 2018

Badminton Worlds: Sindhu progresses to pre-quarters, Jwala-Ashwini ousted

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P.V. Sindhu came out with a strong performance to enter the third round of the World Badminton Championships after earning a straight-games win over Russian Olga Golovanova at the Ballerup Super Arena here on Wednesday.

The 11-seeded Indian needed only 40 minutes to ease past Olga 21-12, 21-17 in their first-ever match. Last year’s bronze medallist Sindhu next faces a tough match against South Korean sixth seed Yeon Ju Bae, who has beaten the Hyderabad native in both their previous meetings.

Sindhu did not start well in both games and took time to get into rhythm. But as the games progressed, the 19-year-old showed experience and brought out her top game by notching points which were beyond the physical capability of Olga.

While Kidambi Srikanth and the pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy won their matches in their respective categories, it was the end of the road for Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar in men’s doubles, Ajay Jayaram in men’s singles and Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa in women’s doubles.

Reigning national champion Srikanth had a good day in office as he notched up a 36-minute 21-18, 21-13 win over Englishman Rajiv Ouseph in their first men’s singles meet. However, the rising Indian shuttler has an extremely tough third round ahead when he takes on World No.2 and second seed Chen Long of China.

Attri and Reddy had a tough outing against Japanese 15th seeds Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Noriyasu Hirata but came out on top to win 21-19, 21-19 in 44 minutes and advance to the men’s doubles third round.

It was a notable achievement for the World No.38 Indian combine as they overcame the No.14s. Equal at 19-all in both games, Attri and Reddy showed nerves of steel to triumph and advance to the pre-quarters.

However, their compatriots Chopra and Dewalkar had to endure a straight games loss to South Korean fifth seeds Ki Jung Kim and Sa Rang Kim, who beat them 21-15, 21-17 in 32 minutes.

Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk also had it easy when he drubbed Jayaram 21-17, 21-14 in 33 minutes. But it must not be forgotten that Jayaram is making a comeback to the circuit after a gap of seven months due to an injury.

Another big disappointment for the Indian contingent was the ouster of 2011 edition bronze medallists Jwala and Ashwini from the second round. The World No.21 pair lost to the reigning Olympic champions Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao 16-21, 8-21 in only 31 minutes at the 9,200-seater stadium.

This is the World No.21 pair’s seventh loss in as many meetings to the Chinese fifth seeds.



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