Reigning World Champion PV Sindhu was stunned by lower-ranked Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei in the women’s singles opening round of China Open 2019 on Tuesday. Sindhu, the world no.6, lost 13-21, 21-18, 19-21 in a contest that lasted 74 minutes in Fuzhou.
The latest defeat is Sindhu’s yet another early exit from a premier event after Korea Open and Denmark Open earlier this year. At the French Open last month, she had made the quarterfinals before losing to world no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in three games.
It was curtains for HS Prannoy as well after a 17-21, 18-21 defeat to Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke in men’s singles opening round. Prannoy recently recovered from a bout of dengue due to which he skipped the French Open.
But there was positive news for India from the doubles events where in the pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy beat American duo of Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew 21-9, 21-15 to enter round 2. The mixed doubles pair of Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also progressed to the next round. The pair, ranked 30 in the world, beat Canada’s oshua Hurlburt-Yu and Josephine Wu 21-19 21-19.
However, Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy exited after losing 9-21, 8-21 to WM Li and Y Zheng in women’s doubles opening round.
Tai Tzu Ying also advanced to the next round after Carolina Marin retired midway through the second game. Marin had lost the opening game 16-21 and was trailing by a massive margin (1-13) when she pulled out.
Incidentally, the top-ranked male shuttler Kento Momota also had a similar result in his singles opener after his opponent withdrew. Momota had won the first game 21-17 against Liew Daren before the latter retired.