For the second time in a row, India’s ace shuttler PV Sindhu has suffered a huge setback in back-to-back BWF tournaments after her historic triumph at the World Championships in Basel last month. On Wednesday, Sindhu was knocked out in the first round of the ongoing Korea Open after losing a closely-fought encounter against USA’s Beiwen Zhang 21-7, 22-24, and 15-21. Sindhu earlier suffered a second-round loss in the China Open Super 1000 event by Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong last week.

With less than one year to go for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, the 24-year-old Sindhu’s form has been a cause of concern. Her South Korean coach Kim Ji Hyun stepped down from her position as India’s women’s singles badminton coach due to personal reasons.

After this loss, Sindhu’s quest for her first BWF title of the season continues. Despite reaching summit clash of BWF World Tour Final and Indonesia Open Super 1000 tournament this year, the Hyderabad-born shuttler failed to clinch the top spot in both of the tournaments.

Earlier, Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth made an early exit from the ongoing Korea Open Super 500 tournament after he was forced to retire midway in his first-round match against Anders Antonsen of Denmark.

Praneeth had lost the first game 9-21 and was trailing 7-11 in the second when he chose to retire because of injury and thus sending Antonsen through to the round of 16.

The 27-year-old had entered the Korea Open on the back of an exit at the quarterfinal stage of the China Open last week where he lost to World No. 9 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia.

Before that, he had won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Basel, ending India’s 36-year drought for a medal in men’s singles category.