Korea Open badminton: India’s PV Sindhu marches on, Lakshya Sen crashes out

PV Sindhu defeated Japan’s Aya Ohori in straight games while Lakshya Sen lost to Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito. Kidambi Srikanth also progressed.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu advanced to the quarter-finals while All-England Open finalist Lakshya Sen was ousted in the second round of the Korea Open Badminton Championships 2022 in Suncheon on Thursday.

PV Sindhu, seventh in the badminton world rankings, defeated world No. 26 Aya Ohori from Japan 21-15, 21-10 in the second round of her women’s singles event. This was PV Sindhu’s 12th win over her Japanese opponent in as many matches.

PV Sindhu began the match tentatively but kept her nose ahead with an 11-9 lead at the break. The Indian badminton ace then changed the gears to pocket the first game with ease.

The second game saw Aya Ohori put up a much better fight against PV Sindhu initially. Trailing 10-9, PV Sindhu snatched the momentum with 10 straight points and sailed into the quarter-finals of the BWF Super 500 event.

In the last eight, PV Sindhu will face world No. 11 Busanan Ongbamrungphan, whom the Indian defeated in the Swiss Open final last month.

India’s highest-ranked men’s singles player Lakshya Sen, meanwhile, lost to world No. 24 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia 22-20, 21-9.

In the first meeting between the two shuttlers, Lakshya Sen began well in an evenly-contested first game. The Indian, ranked No. 9, however, failed to capitalise on the game point to concede a 1-0 lead.

The second game was one-way traffic. Lakshya Sen committed a series of unforced errors to go down in just 33 minutes. This is the first time this year that Lakshya Sen, a world championships bronze medallist, will return empty-handed from a BWF World Tour event.

Since clinching the India Open title in January, Lakshya Sen had won silver at both the German Open and All England Open which included wins against the likes of Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen and world No. 3 Anders Antonsen.

Unseeded Malvika Bansod, meanwhile, went down to world No. 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-8, 21-14 in the second round of women’s singles.

Earlier in the day, India’s challenge in mixed doubles ended with BS Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa’s loss to Ou Xuan Yi and Huang Y Q of China. The Indian pair put up a strong fight but lost steam in the third game to go down 22-20, 18-21, 21-14.

Later in the day, world championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth, India’s only player alive in men’s singles, beat world No. 50 Misha Zilberman of Israel 21-18, 21-6 to move into the quarter-finals. The sixth seed Indian will take on South Korea’s Son Wanho, ranked 78th, for a place in the semis.

In the men’s doubles, third-seeded Indians Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also progressed with a 21-15, 21-19 win over Singapore's Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will face South Korea’s Kang Minhyuk and Seo Seungjae in the quarter-finals.

The second Indian men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, however, retired midway after just eight minutes of play against former world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia. The Indian pair was trailing 5-8 during the time of pullout.

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