Top Indian Shuttlers — PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth — advanced to the quarter-finals but Lakshya Sen and Malvika Bansod crashed out after losing their second round matches at the Korea Open Badminton Championships 2022 at the Palma Stadium, here on Thursday.
Sindhu, seventh in the badminton world rankings, defeated world No 26 Aya Ohori from Japan 21-15, 21-10 in the second round of her women’s singles event. This was her 12th win over her Japanese opponent in as many matches.
The Indian badminton ace began the match tentatively but kept her nose ahead with an 11-9 lead at the break. She then changed gears to pocket the first game with ease. The second game saw Ohori put up a much better fight against Sindhu initially. Trailing 10-9, the former world champion snatched the momentum with 10 straight points and sailed into the quarter-finals of the BWF Super 500 event.
In the last eight, two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu will face Thailand’s world No 11 Busanan Ongbamrungphan, whom the Indian defeated in the Swiss Open final last month.
In the men’s singles, World Championship silver medallist Srikanth beat Israel’s Misha Zilberman 21-18, 21-6.
Former world No 1 Srikanth had to work hard in the first game but eventually managed to win it. However, the Indian shifted gears in the second game, surging to a massive 12-0 lead before Misha Zilberman could open his account. Srikanth shrugged off the challenge effortlessly to wrap up the match in 33 minutes to set up a clash with local hope and former world no 1 Son Wan-ho.
However, India’s highest-ranked men’s singles player Lakshya Sen lost to world No 24 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia 20-22, 9-21.
In the first meeting between the two shuttlers, Sen began well in an evenly-contested first game. The Indian ranked No 9, however, failed to capitalise on the game point to concede a 1-0 lead. The second game was one-way traffic. Lakshya committed a series of unforced errors to go down in just 33 minutes.
This is the first time this year that Sen, a world championships bronze medallist, will return empty-handed from a BWF World Tour event. Since clinching the India Open title in January, Lakshya Sen had won silver at both the German Open and All England Open, which included wins against the likes of Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen and world No 3 Anders Antonsen.
The World No. seven pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean 21-15, 21-19 in 36 minutes to also advance to the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles event.
Meanwhile, unseeded Malvika Bansod went down to world No 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong 8-21, 14-21 in the second round of women’s singles.
Earlier in the day, India’s challenge in mixed doubles ended with BS Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa’s loss to Ou Xuan Yi and Huang Y Q of China. The Indian pair put up a strong fight but lost steam in the third game to go down 20-22, 21-18, 14-21.
Mohamad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan were declared winners after the Indian men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila retired after just eight minutes into the first game. Ahsan-Setiawan was leading 8-5 and they advanced to the quarter-finals after the retirement of their opponent.