PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth Crash Out of Thailand Open in 1st Round, Ashwini-Satwik Enter Round 2
PV Sindhu (L) and Ashwini Ponnappa-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (Photo Credit: Reuters)
PV Sindhu crashed out of the Thailand Open in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday with a three-game loss to Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt, who is ranked 18th in the world. Sindhu is currently ranked seventh in the world and was leading the match halfway but Blichfeldt did not give up and worked around Sindhu extremely well to get a 16-21, 26-24, 21-13 win.
B Sai Praneeth also lost his first round encounter to Thailand Kantaphon Wangcharoen 16-21, 10-21.
Sindhu was in good form in the first game when she was able to get her smashes right, her judgement right and made Blichfeldt run hard on the court. Blichfeldt worked extremely hard throughout the game but in the beginning, she was unable to reap benefits of the game.
Halfway through the second game, Sindhu was leading and was on course to winning the match but Blichfeldt was able to stretch the game to make it 15-15.
It was in that moment that one could sense the nervousness and frustration in Sindhu for letting Blichfeldt close in and it started to show in Sindhu's game. She started to hit her smashes into the net and looked slightly fatigued.
Blichfeldt was able to turn on the screws in the third and final game and Sindhu just didn't look like she had enough energy in her legs. She missed routine smashes and sent a number of shuttles long as Blichfeldt fell to her knees celebrating her win.
Praneeth was never really in his match against Wangcharoen except very initially. In the first part of the first Praneeth stayed close but once the Thai started to pull away, Praneeth never had any answers.
In the second game, Wangcharoen took a huge lead very early on and Praneeth never looked like he could hit back.
Ashwini-Satwik were dominant in their first game as they had an 11-5 lead at the break and never looked threatened. The second game, however, stayed neck-and-neck with just a couple of points ahead or down. Ashwini-Satwik led 19-17 but Faizal-Widjaja hit back with three straight points to get to game point. Ashwini-Satwik saved six game points and had two of their own but the Indonesian pair took the match to the decider.
The final game was similar to the first where Ashwini-Satwik took early lead but then the Indonesian pair had a run of four straight points to make it 13-13. Ashwini-Satwik then took a 16-13 lead and even though Faizal-Widjaja fought back, the Indian pair took the match.