Dubai:Two-time Olympian P.V Sindhu and top men's singles player H.S. Prannoy kept the Indian flag flying in the singles section even as former World No.1 Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the Badminton Asia Championships 2023 at the pre-quarterfinals stage here on Thursday.
Sindhu, who won a silver at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and bronze in Tokyo 2020, defeated China's Han Yue 21-12, 21-15 to storm into the quarterfinals.
Prannoy, the highest-ranked Indian in men's singles ranking, defeated Chico Aura DWI Wardoyo of Indonesia 21-16, 5-21, 21-18 in a Round of 16 clash. Srikanth on the other hand, lost to fourth seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan 21-14, 20-22, 21-9 in another second-round encounter in the 32-player draw.
Meanwhile, the top men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty advanced to the men's doubles quarterfinals with a straight games win against Jin Yong and Na Sung Seung of South Korea in a pre-quarterfinal encounter. The Indian duo defeated the Korean combine 21-13, 21-11.
It was a mixed day for India as qualifiers Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy advanced to the next round in the mixed doubles with a walkover from four-seeded Korean pair, Seo Seung Jae and Chae Yu Jung in a pre-quarterfinal match.
Also in a mixed doubles draw, India's B. Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ashwini Ponnappa lost to the Chinese Taipei pair of Chang Ko-Chi and Lee Chih Chen 21-15, 21-17.
The young women's doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand are also out as they gave a walkover to sixth seeds Jeong Na Eun and Kim Hye Jeong of South Korea in a Round of 16 clash at Court 4 in Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Indoor Hall, Al Nasr Club.
In a pre-quarterfinal match in women's singles, the 27-year-old Sindhu trailed 1-3 before catching up with her Chinese opponent at 3-3. She then opened a two-point lead but Yue Han narrowed it down to 5-4. Sindhu won three more points in a row and opened up a lead and though Yue Han reduced the margin to 6-8, the Indian won five points in succession to open a 12-6 lead and went on to win the first game 21-12 on her first game point.
In the second game, Sindhu broke away from 3-3 to take a 6-4 lead. Scores were tied at 8-8 again but Sindhu played steadily and did not allow the Chinese player many chances as she went on to win the game and match at 21-15
Prannoy, the eighth seed who started his campaign by beating Phone Pyae Naing of Myanmar in the first round, quelled a strong fightback from Chico Aura DWI Wardoyo. In the first game, he broke away from 3-3 in the first game and build a 6-4 lead. The Indian shuttler, a Thomas Cup gold medallist, maintained his upper hand as he won four consecutive points from 13-12 to go on to win the first game.
In the second game, Wardoyo opened up a lead from 1-1 to make it 5-1 and extended it to 9-3 as Prannoy struggled with the conditions and lost the game at five.
The decider was a closely-fought game as the players went neck-and-neck before Prannoy opened a three-point lead (6-3). Wardoyo narrowed the lead to 6-5 but Prannoy won four consecutive points to make it 10-5. The Indonesian player came back strongly and tied the scores at 15-15 before Prannoy won three points in a row from 16-16 and went on to win the decider 21-18 and seal a hard-fought win.