Indian badminton ace PV Sindhu moved into the women’s singles quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open 2022 in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
PV Sindhu, seeded seventh, took 57 minutes to defeat an unseeded Phittayaporn Chaiwan of Thailand 19-21, 21-9, 21-14 in the second round of the BWF Super 750 badminton event.
Phittayaporn Chaiwan, 21, applied pressure on the former world champion PV Sindhu from the start and went into the first break with an 11-9 lead at the Axiata Arena.
Phittayaporn Chaiwan, however, committed a few unforced errors on the net to allow PV Sindhu back into the game. With PV Sindhu leading 19-18, Phittayaporn Chaiwan used the corners well to take the game with three straight points.
After a change of ends, PV Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, took advantage of the drift and her reach to pocket the second game convincingly.
The third game saw PV Sindhu play more returns on the backcourt to disallow Phittayaporn Chaiwan's positioning upfront. Despite leading 5-0 at one stage, PV Sindhu went into the break with just one point advantage.
PV Sindhu regrouped quickly post-break and restored the five-point lead. PV Sindhu then went on to win the match with ease.
This was the first meeting between PV Sindhu, seventh in the badminton world rankings, against the world No. 20 Phittayaporn Chaiwan.
However, PV Sindhu will be up against nemesis Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals, against whom PV Sindhu has a poor 5-15 head-to-head record.
Tai Tzu Ying, world No. 2, had also defeated PV Sindhu in the Tokyo 2020 semi-finals.
In the men’s singles, India’s Thomas Cup hero HS Prannoy, the world No. 21, overwhelmed world No. 4 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-15, 21-7 in 35 minutes. HS Prannoy will take on world No. 8 Jonatan Christie in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap, meanwhile, lost to three-time junior world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand 21-19, 21-10 in the second round.
The top Indian men's doubles pair of Satiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty withdrew before their second-round match against Malaysia’s Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy reported a strain in his core muscles and was advised by the coaches to pull out with the Commonwealth Games beginning on July 28.
In the women’s doubles, India’s Srivedya Gurazada and her American partner lost to Indonesia’s Febby Valencia Dwijayanti Gani and Ribka Sugiarto 21-12, 21-8 to crash out of the Malaysia Open.