PV Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap advance to the second round of the Malaysia Open, while Saina Nehwal
Updated: Jul 19
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, two of the best players in Indian women's badminton, experienced contrasting outcomes at the Malaysia Open Super 750 competition, with the former moving on after losing her opening match here on Wednesday and the latter bowing out.
Saina, who won the bronze medal at the London Olympics, lost her match against American Iris Wang, who is ranked 33rd in the world, 11-21 17-21 in 37 minutes, while Sindhu, a former world champion, put on a strong performance to defeat Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong, who is ranked 10 in the world, 21-13 21-17.
Parupalli Kashyap, a former Commonwealth Games winner, too made a successful comeback, defeating Korea's Heo Kwang Hee 21-12 21-17 to get to the second round of the men's singles competition.
Next up for Sindhu, who is seeded eighth, is Phittayaporn Chaiwan, a 21-year-old Thai who previously held the top spot in the world junior rankings and was a member of the bronze-winning team at the Uber Cup in Bangkok.
The 39th-ranked Kashyap will compete against Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn, who won the March German Open Super 300.
B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, who will spearhead India's effort at the Commonwealth Games, we're unable to surpass the Dutch duo of Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek, who is currently ranked 21 in the world.
After a 52-minute struggle, the Indian team lost 15-21, 21-19, and 17-21.
Since winning their most recent match at the 2021 World Championship, Sindhu and Chochuwong have a combined 5-3 head-to-head record. The Indian was in fine form against the Thai, who battled with her lengths and finishing strokes.
The two players played at a strong tempo to start the match, but Sindhu quickly took control thanks to her superior court covering. In the rallies, Chochuwong was competitive with Sindhu, but she struggled to finish.
As a result, Sindhu took the lead early on, and she maintained that lead the whole first game. She went into the interval with a four-point lead thanks to a precise net shot. Sindhu's front-court performance was more refined than that of her opponent, and she made good use of the smashes and aggressive returns whenever she had the chance.
After increasing her advantage to 16-11, Sindhu produced an over-the-head return to score seven-game points, which she then converted with a smash.
The Indian, though, then orchestrated a remarkable comeback with a five-point spurt as her opponent made a flurry of unforced errors.
Again going long, the Thai allowed Sindhu to tie the game at 17-17 before taking the lead when Chochuwong's final shot was buried in the netting.
After the shuttle was launched twice more, Sindhu easily won the match with three match points.