India Open round up | PV Sindhu progresses to semis as Saina, Praneeth bow out

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India Open round up | PV Sindhu progresses to semis as Saina, Praneeth bow out

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SportsCafe Desk

02/02/2018

PV Sindhu continued her winning run at the India Open as she beat Beatriz Corrales 21-12, 21-19, 21-11 to book safe passage into the semi-finals. However, in what proved to be a disastrous day for India on the courts, Saina Nehwal, B Sai Praneeth, and Parupalli Kashyap were all ousted from the Open.

The defending champion was the clear favourite going into the game against Corrales and it took her just 13 minutes to breeze past her Spanish opponent in the first game. The 25-year-old Spaniard had no room for any counter-attack whatsoever and before she could settle into the game, the score read 21-12. The second game was bound to see some more competition from Corrales and, with Sindhu not making too much of an effort in the game, the eighth seed took advantage of the same to take a comfortable lead. Corrales brought up seven game points in the second before Sindhu decided to put up some resemblance of a fight and by winning six points in a row, it looked like the wind was in her sails and the Indian would seal it in two. However, a Corrales shot coming off the tape, Sindhu found herself in a decider for the first time in the tournament. 

The decider, which had everyone’s heart racing, hardly had the competitive feel that was reflected in the second game. Sindhu remained on the front foot from the very first point and took an 8-1 lead even before Corralles could even set up some sort of a defence. The Spaniard attempted a comeback at 10-4 and 11-7 capitalizing on Sindhu’s unforced errors, but the Indian rectified herself in time to lead 15-9. The result was a formality by then and the Indian ace eventually sealed the third game 21-11.

Saina Nehwal also looked out of steam on what looked like a terrible day for the Indian contingent as the World No. 10 lost 21-10, 21-13 to USA’s Beiwen Zhang, who finished things up in 32 minutes.  

After Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy had bowed out of the tournament previously, Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth were the only remaining hope for India in the men’s singles. However, Kashyap and Praneeth were ousted by Qiao Bin and Chou Tien Chen respectively in the quarter-final on Friday. While Bin beat Kashyap 21-16, 21-18 in straight sets, Sai Praneeth lost to Chen 21-15, 21-13.  

Iskandar Zulkarnain, who stunned Srikanth yesterday in hard-fought three-setter, hardly had to sweat against Sameer Verma today, as the Malaysian wrapped up the game 21-17, 21-14.

India had mixed news from the mixed doubles category. While the pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Reddy N. Sikki saw off the Chinese duo of Han Chengkai and Cao Tao Wei 21-8, 21-13, the pairing of Sikki and Ashwini Ponappa couldn’t follow up that feat against Du Yue and Li Yinhui, as they lost 21-17, 23-21.

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