BWF China Open | Sindhu reaches quarters; Jayaram to face Chen Long

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BWF China Open | Sindhu reaches quarters; Jayaram to face Chen Long

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SportsCafe Desk

11/17/2016

Olympic silver-medalist PV Sindhu grabbed a place in the quarter-finals of the China Open with a hard-fought 18-21, 22-20, 21-17 win over Zhang Beiwen of the USA. In the men’s draw, Ajay Jayaram followed suit with a 20-22, 21-19, 21-12 win over Wei Nan to set up a clash against World No.2 Chen Long.

PV Sindhu and Zhang Beiwen faced each other after a gap of over five years, and the Indian has maintained her dominance over the American. However, the match did not start too well for the World No.11.

Sindhu raced to an 11-7 lead in the first game but Zhang fought back and leveled it at 13-13. In fact, the American shuttler went on to win the game comfortably at 21-18. The India responded with another strong start in the second game and in a blink of an eye, she was leading 12-2. However, the topsy-turvy nature of the match continued as Zhang turned the tables completely to take a 19-17 lead. Sindhu won three points in a row and had a game point at 20-19. Zhang thwarted her the first time before Sindhu eventually won the game 22-20. The deciding third game was a lot one-sided, though. Sindhu raised her game when it mattered the most and maintained her lead from the start to win the third game 21-17.

Sindhu will now face the 19-year-old sensation from China He Bingjiao in the quarter-final. The duo has faced each other on six occasions so far with five of those meetings coming in this year alone. The World No.10 has beaten Sindhu on four of their six encounters including a win in their last meeting at the French Open. Sindhu will have to be at her best to get past her.

Later in the day, Ajay Jayaram took on Wei Nan and came out on the top. The first game turned out to be a closely fought affair with both the players exchanging leads throughout the game. Jayaram had an opportunity to win the game at 20-19, but Wei Nan won three points in a row to take the first game 22-20. Jayaram returned the favour in the second game when Wei Nan was in a position of strength at 19-17. The Indian won four points in a row to win the game 21-19. That late surge gave Jayaram the momentum, and he carried it into the next game. Jayaram won the third game comfortably at 21-12 as Wei Nan failed to keep up with him.

This victory has set up another clash against the former World No.1 Chen Long, whom he had faced in the last edition of this tournament as well. The Chinese legend has a 4-0 head-to-head record over Jayaram. In fact, the Indian is yet to win a set against him. It will take a miracle for him to go past the quarter-final at this point.

HS Prannoy could not match Jayaram’s achievement, though, as he was knocked out by Qiao Bin. The Chinese shuttler cruised to a 21-17, 21-19 win over the Indian.

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