Srikanth upsets Nguyen, Sindhu enters quarters

Srikanth upsets Nguyen, Sindhu enters quarters

Indian ace PV Sindhu entered the quarterfinals with a victory in the women’s singles but it was young Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who created the headlines at the $300,000 Singapore Super Series, with a stunning win over world number 10 Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam here on Thursday.

Another Indian youngster, Sai Praneeth B, also made the last eight stage by registering a straight-game win over Zi Liang Wong of Singapore. Sindhu, 18, prevailed over Japan’s Shizuka Uchida 21-17, 17-21, 21-16 and her next assignment is against World No 3 Yihan Wang on Friday.

After three first-round exits in the All England, Swiss Open and India Super Series, Srikanth finally found his form back as he notched up an upset 18-21, 21-15, 21-8 win over the World Championships bronze medallist. Thailand Open champion, Srikanth, who was the finalist at the India Grand Prix Gold earlier this year, will next take on Hong Kong’s Yun Hu in the quarterfinals on Friday.

The Indian has a 1-0 record against Hu, having beaten him at the Maybank Malaysia Open early in the season.

World Number 50, Sai Praneeth, gave a good account of himself as he managed to prevail over his opponent from Singapore, ranked 43rd, 24-22, 21-19 in a match that lasted 39 minutes. He will be up against World No 7 Chinese Du Pengyu in the quarterfinals. Du Pengyu, earlier on Thursday, had posted a hard-fought win over India’s HS Prannoy 21-17, 18-21, 21-12 in an hour and a six-minute battle.
 Meanwhile, it was curtains for PC Thulasi, who lost to Yihan 19-21, 7-21 in 35 minutes in a second round women’s singles match. In the men’s doubles competition, Alwin Francis and Arun Vishnu were humbled by the top seeded Indonesian combo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-17, 24-22.

In the women’s singles competition, Sindhu was 11-10 ahead at the first interval and she kept the pressure on her opponent Shizuka even after the break, moving from 14-10 to 19-14 to pocket the game.  In the second game, Uchida turned the tables to take the second game 21-17.  In the decider, Sindhu led 15-11 midway. But Uchida brought down the deficit to within two points before Sindhu sealed the deal at the end.  Earlier, Srikanth was a little rusty to start with, but he fought back from 6-14 to draw level at 16-16 but the Vietnamese soon reeled off three points to take the first game. 
 In the second game, Srikanth started troubling Tien and opened up an 8-5 lead after an initial battle but the latter stored parity soon after.

Srikanth, though, had the last laugh as he took the second set 21-15.

The momentum firmly on his side, Srikanth was at his dominating self in the decider and went to the interval with a massive 11-3 lead.

After the break, Srikanth kept the pressure on his higher-ranked rival and reeled off four points to move to 16-6 before closing the door on Tien.  Results: Men: Singles: Srikanth K bt Tien Minh 18-21, 21-15, 21-8; Du Pengyu bt HS Prannoy 21-17, 18-21, 21-12; Sai Praneeth bt Zi Liang Wong 24-22, 21-19. Doubles: Mohammad Ahsan/ Hendra Setiawan bt Alwin Francis/ Arun Vishnu 21-17, 24-22

Women: Singles: Wang Yihan bt PC Thulasi 21-19, 21-7; Sindhu PV bt Shizuka Uchida 21-17, 17-21, 21-16. 

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