India Open: Saina and Sindhu progress to pre-quarters; Indian men crash out

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India Open: Saina and Sindhu progress to pre-quarters; Indian men crash out

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Amlan Majumdar

03/31/2016

Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu made it through to the pre-quarter finals of the Indian Open after registering comfortable wins. However, that did not help much in brightening up a day for the Indian contingent that saw all the Indian shuttlers in men's singles being knocked out of the tournament.

The day started with Sai Praneeth losing to Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia 22-20, 21-13. The first set was a closely fought affair, with Praneeth losing in the tiebreaker, however, Kuncoro dominated the second set to knock Praneeth out. Ajay Jayaram continued his poor record against Marc Zwiebler with a 12-21, 21-13, 19-21 loss. The World No. 24 fought back and won the second set, and was in with a brilliant chance to win the match in the third, when he was leading 19-17, but the German won four points in a row to swing the tie in his favour.

India's biggest hope in the men's singles, Srikant Kidambi also bowed out, losing to Tian Houwei of China after a marathon match. Houwei, who now has a 6-1 head-to-head record with Srikant despite losing to him last month at the Asia Team Championship, won the first set comfortably, by 21-13. However, the World No.10 bounced back to win the second set and the third set went into a tiebreaker. Houwei held his nerve better than his opponent, and closed out the third set at 24-22.

There was no upset on the cards when Sourabh Varma took on fourth seeded Lin Dan and lost 21-18, 21-9.

H S Prannoy could not carry on the momentum he had gained from his win at the Swiss Open earlier this month, as he surrendered to Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-23, 21-18, 13-21. The last encounter between these two players was in the Swiss Open, when Prannoy came out on the right side of another three-set encounter.

Saina Nehwal gave the Indian fans something to cheer about, when she cruised to a 21-7, 21-13 win over fellow Indian Tanvi Lad. The second seed will now face Nichaon Jindapol in the next round. P V Sindhu also managed a comfortable 21-8, 21-8 win over Jeanine Cicognini to book a tie against Busanan Ongbumrungpan in the pre-quarters.

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