India Open 2018: Sindhu Enters Semis As Saina Crashes Out

India Open 2018 Sindhu Enters Semis As Saina Crashes Out

 

Day Highlights:

  • Saina lost 21-10, 21-13
  • Sindhu won 21-12, 19-21, 21-11
  • Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 21-17, 21-11.

PV Sindhu was the only shining star on an otherwise disappointing day for the Indians at the Indian Open as she won her quarter-final clash. The top seed edged 36th-ranked Beatrice Corrales 21-12, 19-21, 21-11 to reach the semi-final. Compatriot Saina Nehwal on the other hand crashed out in the same stage as she lost 21-10, 21-13. India also ended their challenge in the mixed doubles after Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to No.5 pair Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark 21-17, 21-11.

 

Playing the first game of the day, Rio Olympics bronze medallist and the top-seeded player in this tournament Sindhu kept the Indian flag flying high as she went on to win a fiercely fought contest. She was pushed to three games by the 36th-ranked Beatrice Corrales who gave her opponent a tough match. Despite winning the first set easily, Sindhu faced a brick wall in the second set after Corrales pushed her right down to the wire to take home the second set, edging it by a skimmer 19-21. Corrales was unable to maintain her momentum though after being drained out of energy. This is where Sindhu’s experience and class helped her take the third set comfortably after she played to her opponent’s weaknesses to seal the match.

 

It was not so rosy for fourth-seeded and World No.10 Saina who was dumped by American Zhang. The result was not so surprising though given Saina’s lacklustre attitude and nonchalant style of play from the beginning. She hardly looked interested in the match and was walked all over by a clearly superior Zhang. Racing into a 6-0 lead in the first set, Zhang went on to not only seal the first set with ease 21-10 but maintained her good run as she played fantastic shots to take the second set and with it book a place in the semi-finals for herself.

 

“I came back in the second game, but a lucky net chord went against me, or else it could have been decided in two games. But overall, it was a good game for me,” said Sindhu. “In the third game, I maintained the lead from the start and finished it comfortably.”

 

It is not about training, it is about giving time to my body. It is tough, it is a killing sport. It looks easy from outside that we are playing strokes. I don’t want to just play. I want time to be fresh for tournaments,” said Saina. “

 

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