Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu failed to defend her Swiss Open Super 300 badminton title as she was shocked by unseeded Putri Kusuma Wardani of Indonesia in a thrilling three-game women’s singles second-round match.
World no.9 Sindhu, seeded fourth here, was stunned 15-21 21-12 18-21 by the 38th-ranked Wardani in their first-ever face-off at the international level on Thursday night.
But the second-seeded men’s pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty kept India’s flag flying by entering the quarterfinals with a hard-fought 12-21 21-17 28-26 win over the Taiwanese pair of Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee.
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The world No. 6 Indian duo will next face the Danish pair of Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede later on Friday. Earlier on Thursday, world No. 9 and fifth seed H S Prannoy made a shock second-round exit after losing in straight games against unseeded Christo Popov of France. Prannoy, favourite coming into the contest, looked a pale shadow of himself in front of world No. 40 Popov as he failed to give any fight, losing 8-21 8-21 to bow out of the men’s singles event.
But it was Kidambi Srikanth, who was the first to crash out on Thursday, losing to Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yiu Lee.
Going by rankings, there was hardly anything to separate the two as Srikanth is placed 20th in the world as against his rival’s 19th position.
It was a hard-fought match, but Lee kept his composure to emerge 22-20 21-17 winner in the singles pre-quarterfinal contest.
National champion Mithun Manjunath also bowed out in the second round, losing 19-21 10-21 to Chia Hao Lee of Chinese Taipei.
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