Malaysia Masters badminton: PV Sindhu beats He Bing Jiao in first round

Former world No. 1 Saina Nehwal was eliminated after losing to South Korea's Kim Ga Eun in the first round.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by Getty Images

Former world champion PV Sindhu advanced to the second round of the Malaysia Masters 2022 women’s singles event after a hard-fought win over China’s He Bing Jiao at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

India’s PV Sindhu, seventh in the badminton world rankings, overcame world No. 9 He Bing Jiao 21-13, 17-21, 21-15 in 56 minutes. 

PV Sindhu, who had lost to He Bing Jiao in the first round of the Indonesia Open last month, dominated the early exchanges to build a massive 11-3 lead heading into the first break. The Indian then controlled the game to take a 1-0 lead.

After the change of ends, He Bing Jiao led the two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu 11-7 at the break. PV Sindhu, with a four-point streak, levelled the game at 11-all but He Bing Jiao regrouped quickly and stretched the match into the decider.

The third game saw both shuttlers engage in long rallies. After the scores were tied at 3-all, PV Sindhu struck 10 points on the trot and weathered a late comeback to progress into the second round of the BWF Super 500 badminton tournament.

This was PV Sindhu’s ninth win over He Bing Jiao in 19 games. PV Sindhu also defeated He Bing Jiao on her way to the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal last year. In the second round, the Indian shuttler will face worlds bronze medallist Zhang Yi Man of China.

Meanwhile, former world No. 1 Saina Nehwal’s poor run of form continued as she suffered another early exit. 

Saina Nehwal, a London 2012 Olympics bronze medallist, looked in good touch against South Korea’s Kim Ga Eun in the opening game but conceded the advantage to lose 16-21, 21-17, 21-14. Saina Nehwal is yet to progress past the second round in any competition this year.

In the men’s singles, HS Prannoy, back in the top-20 of the BWF world rankings for the first time in over three years, continued his purple patch with a 21-19, 21-14 win over Frenchman Brice Leverdez. The Indian, ranked 19th, will take on Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei, next.

Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap also registered a 16-21, 21-16, 21-16 win over Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto to sail into the next round.

Earlier in the day, world championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth, ranked 20th, beat former Pan American Games champion Kevin Cordon of Guatemala 21-8, 21-9.

World No. 30 Sameer Verma, meanwhile, lost to world No. 4 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-10, 12-21, 14-21 to make an early exit.

In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost to Indonesia’s Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma and Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi 19-21, 21-18, 16-21.

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