File image of PV Sindhu© AFP
Star Indian shuttlers HS Prannoy and PV Sindhu progressed to the men’s and women’s singles pre-quarterfinals with straight-game wins over their respective opponents in the badminton competition at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Tuesday. World no. 7 Prannoy, who had missed the men’s team championships final against China due to a back injury, was back on the court, dishing out a clinical performance to expectedly outwit Mongolia’s Batdavaa Munkhbat 21-9 21-12 in 25 minutes. He will face either Jordan’s Bahaedeen Ahmad Alshannik or Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Panarin. (Asian Games Medals Tally | Asian Games Full Schedule)
Former world champion Sindhu also looked good as she prevailed 21-10 21-15 over world no. 21 We Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei. The last and only time Sindhu played Hsu was at the Asia Badminton Championships in Dubai earlier this month.
Sindhu will play either Indonesia’s Putri Kusuma Wardani or Hong Kong’s Liang Ka Wing next.
Sindhu was leading 7-5 in the opening game. She kept her errors low and engaged in rallies, using her tosses and clears. Soon she was 11-6 and 15-6 up.
The Indian moved to 10 game points when her opponent found the net. Sindhu wasted one before sealing it when her rival went long. The second game was a tight affair. Sindhu got her length right early and tried to pin her opponent at the back court, managing to lead 4-2 but the Taipei girl managed to keep close and produced an angled smash to make it 8-7.
An on-the-line return helped Hsu to claw back at 9-9 but Sindhu ensured she has a one-point lead at the interval. The Indian extended the lead to 18-14 before a backhand return took her to five game points and she sealed the contest comfortably.
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