India’s ace shuttler PV Sindhu cruised into the quarterfinals of the ongoing All England Championships 2020 with a straight-game win over Sung Ji Hyun of Korea in Birmingham on Thursday. The sixth-seeded Indian Olympic silver medallist won 21-19, 21-15 in a round of 16 match that lasted 49 minutes. Also Read - Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty Pair Hopes to Get a New Foreign Coach After Tokyo Olympic Postponement
Sindhu next meets the winner of the match between fourth-seeded Nozomi Okuhara of Japan and Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark. Also Read - BWF Chief Slams Athletes For Criticism During COVID-19 Pandemic, Says 'Wrong to Question Our Sincerity And Motives'
However, it was disappointment for India in the men’s singles event as rising shuttler Lakshya Sen was knocked out of the prestigious Badminton tournament. Lakshya lost his second-round encounter to Victor Axelsen in straight games on Thursday. He went down to the world number seven Dane 17-21, 18-21 in a hard-fought second-round battle which lasted 45 minutes. Also Read - MC Mary Kom to Bajrang Punia: India's Olympic-Bound Athletes Welcome Tokyo 2020 Postponement
The 18-year old Indian, who won five titles last season, had defeated Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yiu Lee 17-21, 21-8, 21-17 in the opening round.
On Wednesday night, it was curtains for star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal as she lost against her Japanese nemesis Akane Yamaguchi in the first round. Saina’s chances of qualifying for the Olympics took a major hit after another dismal show in the BWF circuit.
Up against world number three Yamaguchi, it was a tough opening round for Saina, who lost 11-21, 8-21 in just 28 minutes.
Saina is placed 20th on the BWF rankings with 46267 points and the 2012 London Olympics bronze-medallist needs to enter the top-16 bracket by April 28 to make the cut for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
She now needs strong performances to pocket crucial ranking points but considering that several sporting events are being cancelled in view of the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak, it remains to be seen how many she actually gets to play.
The 29-year-old is scheduled to compete at the Swiss Open (March 17-22), India Open (March 24-29) and Malaysia Open (March 31-April 5) in the following weeks.
It was Saina’s ninth defeat in 11 matches against the formidable Japanese and her third first-round exit this season.
In the men’s singles, Parupalli Kashyap retired from his first-round contest against Shesar Hiren Rhustavito while B Sai Praneeth lost his match on Wednesday.
Kashyap’s match lasted just one minute. He was trailing 0-3 when he decided to call it quits.
The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy advanced to the second round when top-seeded Chinese pair of Si Wei Zheng and Ya Qiong Huang retired while trailing 4-5.