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India's Olympic medallist Sindhu cruises into second round in Thailand

AFP/Bangkok
Filed on January 19, 2021
India's PV Sindhu plays a forehand return to Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan. (AFP)

The Rio Olympics silver medallist was sheer class as she pummelled Thailand’s world number 12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-17, 21-13

India’s PV Sindhu cruised into the second round of the Thailand Open on Tuesday to erase the memory of her surprise first round exit a week earlier

The Rio Olympics silver medallist, was sheer class as she pummelled Thailand’s world number 12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-17, 21-13 in 42 minutes in Bangkok.

“It was a good game and I’m very, very happy. This win was very important for me in this tournament because at last week’s tournament, I went out in the first round,” said sixth seed Sindhu.

“So this win today was important, because even though in the first game it was tight, I didn’t want to make it easy.”

Sindhu fell to Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in a shock a week ago in the first of back-to-back Thailand Opens.

Former world number one Saina Nehwal suffered a first round loss to Thai fifth ranked Ratchanok Intanon after fizzling out in the second set 21-17, 21-8.

The result is a blow to the Indian player, who is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

“I’ve played Newhal before and lost a few times and so I’ve learnt from those experiences. Newhal is one of the players I try to copy, she’s fast,” Intanon said.

Top seed Tai Tzu-ying from Taiwan bounced back from her final defeat to Spain’s Carolina Marin in the first tournament on Sunday, to beat Thailand’s Supanida Katethong 21-16, 21-11.

“I think I played OK today. I am feeling a little better than last week,” said Tai.

In the men’s singles, Malaysian 10th seed Lee Zii Jia faced an unexpected defeat against India’s Sameer Verma in a marathon 74 minute thriller.

Verma, ranked 31st in the world, hung on to claim the decider 18-21 27-25 21-19.

“I think from the start I made a lot of mistakes, but luckily I overcame that to claim the first game. It was a tough game for me and the second game was a long one. In the final game, you can see Sameer led the whole way. I tried my best,” Lee said.

Former world number one Kidambi Srikanth polished off Thailand’s 25th ranked Sitthikom Thammasin 21-11, 21-11.

The Indian, now ranked 14th, was forced to pull out of last week’s tournament with a calf muscle strain.

Thailand is hosting three consecutive badminton tournaments in Bangkok culminating in the World Tour Finals from January 27.

The players have been facing off in a bio-secure bubble minus spectators, although the first tournament was overshadowed by three positive coronavirus cases.





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