Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu has moved into the third round i.e. the quarter finals of the Singapore Open Super Series with a 19-21, 21-17, 21-8 win over Indonesia’s Fitriani Fitriani on Thursday.
The Indian shuttler was dominated by the Indonesian in the first game, who is ranked 27th in women’s singles. Sindhu took her time and bounced back in the second game, to stay in the race for the title. Fitriani, with all the confidence from the first game had taken the lead in the initial stages of the second game as well, but couldn’t take down Sindhu who was determined to push into the third decider game.
In the third game, Sindhu raced to a 3-1 lead and was in a comfortable position halfway through taking a 11-4 lead. Not willing to let go of the dominant position she was in, she collected points at regular intervals to close the game at a 21-8 win.
In the quarter-finals, Sindhu is likely to play against one of the two opponents ; it is either going to be China’s Chia Hsin Lee or Carolina Marin, her rival from the Rio Olympics whom she defeated in the final of the India Open in Delhi this month as well as in the Dubai Masters in December.
Sindhu’s first round was against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara on Wednesday. On April 6th, Sindhu had moved to No 2 in the Badminton World Federation rankings after her victory in the India Open Finals, but today she slipped to the fifth spot.
Earlier in the day, the new pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy entered the quarters of the mixed doubles event with a 17-21, 21-17, 21-16 over Jae Hwan Kim and Lee So Hee, while B Sai Praneeth reached the men’s singles quarters by beating China’s Qiao Bin 21-15, 21-23, 21-16.
With all the IPL noise and cricket getting the usual dose of attention, the news of our badminton stars shining in Singapore is like a breath of fresh air.