India’s ace shuttler PV Sindhu started her China Open 2019 campaign on an emphatic note as she registered a straight-games win against China’s former Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui. Replicating her world championship form, Sindhu produced another strong performance to get the better of the currently 20th-ranked Chinese, who entered the match with a 3-3 record against the Indian. Sindhu beat Li Xuerui 21-18, 21-12 to reach the second round match of the Super 1000 tournament. Sindhu’s dominance can be gauged from the fact that the first-round match that lasted only 34 minutes.
The Hyderabad-born shuttler will next face either Thailand’s Pompawee Chonchuwong or Canada’s Michelle Li. Sindhu took a four-point lead first up before Li fought back to get the first game level at 9-9. After the interval, Sindhu took control of the game. Although Li managed to save four-game points in the end, Sindhu took the game 21-18.
Li started the second game on the front foot. Sindhu was trailing 6-2 at one point but once the reigning world champion got into her groove, there was no looking back. Sindhu raced into the lead and ended up winning the second game by a comfortable margin of nine points.
Sindhu’s fellow World Championship medallist Sai Praneeth also booked a place in the second round with a hard-fought three-game win over Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-19, 21-23, 21-14. He will next face China’s Lu Ghuangzu.
Earlier, Saina Nehwal was knocked out after a defeat to Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan while mixed doubles pair N Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra lost to German pair of Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Hertrich. Reddy will next be featuring in women’s doubles with Ashwini Ponnappa later in the day. Other Indians yet to play their matches are Parupalli Kashyap in men’s singles and Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy in men’s doubles.