Malaysia Open: Srikanth through to quarterfinals; Sindhu bows out

Kidambi Srikanth
Kidambi Srikanth is the lone Indian remaining in the fray at Malaysia Open. AFP
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Kuala Lumpur: India's Kidambi Srikanth made it to the men's singles quarterfinals, but an erratic P V Sindhu went down in straight games in women's singles competition at the $750,000 Malaysia Open here on Thursday.

Eighth-seeded Srikanth, who had reached the final of a BWF World Tour event after 17 months at the India Open last week, defeated Thailand's Khosit Phetpradab 21-11, 21-15 in little over half an hour to set up a meeting with Olympic champion and fourth seed Chen Long of China.

The 26-year-old is now the lone Indian survivor in the BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament.

Fifth seed Sindhu blew a 13-10 advantage in the opening game to go down rather meekly 18-21, 7-21 to world No. 10 Sung Ji Hyun for her third straight defeat to the Korean. The Indian had lost Sung in the first round of All England Championships and 2018 Hong Kong open.

Mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 21-15, 17-21, 13-21 to the home duo of Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing of Malaysia.

Srikanth opened up a 6-2 lead early on and then jumped to a 14-6 advantage. The Indian continued to dominate the proceedings to pocket the opening game.

Nothing changed in the second with Srikanth again marching ahead early and holding his fort to comfortably close out the match.

Sindhu enjoyed a three-point lead at 8-5 in the opening game, but Sung drew level with a cross court smash. The Indian again managed to held an 11-9 lead after the Korean went wide.

After the interval, Sung erased the deficit and grabbed a 16-14 lead after Sindhu miscued two shots.

A backhand aimed at the body helped Sung to move up to 19-16. Sindhu then misjudged the shuttle twice at the backline to hand over the opening game to her rival.

Sung raced to a 5-0 lead early on before moving to 10-5 in the second game. A precise down-the-line return helped her to grab an 11-6 advantage at the break. It was a one-way traffic after the breather as the Korean won 10 of the next 11 points as Sindhu made some uncharacteristic mistakes.

Eventually two unforced errors from the Indian helped Sung seal the quarterfinals spot.

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