Denmark Open match highlights
∙ PV Sindhu crashed out in the first round 17-21, 21-16, 18-21
∙ This was Sindhu’s third consecutive loss to Zhang
∙ Nehwal won 20-22, 21-17, 24-22
Coming back to Denmark Open match highlights, PV Sindhu’s bad form against Beiwen Zhang continued with her falling to a third consecutive defeat to Zhang. The Indian World No.3 was stunned by Zhang who eliminated her from the Denmark Open in the first round itself with a 17-21, 21-16, 18-21 defeat. In the other match that saw Indian representation in the women’s singles on the day, Saina Nehwal rallied back to win 20-22, 21-17 24-22.
With her form dipping after her silver medal in the Asian Games, Sindhu has now crashed out of three consecutive tournaments at premature stages. After suffering disappointing defeats in the Japan and China Open, the Denmark Open was crucial for Sindhu to establish herself as one of the leading badminton players.
Drawn up against Zhang in this first round itself was always going to be a tricky encounter for Sindhu. Alas, she failed to cross the hurdle, falling against an opponent who she has been finding tough to negotiate. Losing against Zhang last time the pair met in the Indian Open final, this time’s script was no different for Sindhu. A match that lasted 56 minutes and 3 sets saw Zhang knock-out Sindhu from the tournament.
Tasting defeat in the first set, Sindhu fought back to win the second 21-16. However, Zhang was in a mood to slip up, showing incredible fighting spirit to script one of the biggest headlines of the day after winning the third and last set by a close margin of 21-18.
Saina Nehwal was thrown a tricky fixture as well, one that saw her face off against Hong Kong’s Ngan Yi Cheung. A draining tie that lasted 81 minutes saw Saina emerge victorious, crafting a hard fought win.
Being put on the back-foot after losing the first set 20-22, Nehwal settled into her groove quickly to recover. The second set went comfortably her way but Cheung bounced back quickly to take the third set all the way.
Continuously snapping at Nehwal’s heels, Cheung never let go of the match. Just when it seemed Saina was running away with the tie, Cheung pegged her back to take the vital set to the tiebreaker. Locked at 20-20, Saina held her nerves to see out a well-worked win for herself to move onto the next round.
A mixed day of results for India saw Sameer Verma win his tie against China’s Shi Yuqi 21-17, 21-18. However mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and S. Rankireddy exited after losing 17-21, 18-21 to Korean team of Seung Jae Seo and Yu Jung Chae.
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