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Asian Games 2018: Sindhu, Saina progress into second round


PV Sindhu survived a scare but Saina Nehwal faced no difficulties as India’s top two ranked female shuttlers progressed into the next round at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta on Thursday.

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World Championships silver medallist Sindhu overcame Vu Thi Trang of Vietnam 21-10, 12-21, 23-21 in a 58-minute long match, while Sania crushed Iran’s Soraya Aghhajiagha 21-7, 21-9 in just 26 minutes.

Facing the world number 52, Sindhu who was expected to have a cake-walk faced a stiff challenge from the Vietnamese, who came back from being a set down to take the game into the decider. After an intense two-set battle, the third and final set also went into the decider, where Sindhu faced a sniff almost losing the game after being wrongly adjudged to have hit the shuttle out of the court.

She, however, held on to eventually seal the win and will take on local player Tunjung Gregoria Mariska. Saina too will face an Indonesian shuttler Fitriani.

But Sindhu let out her frustration at the post-match conference, where talking about the wrongly judged point, which was called out, she said, “I thought it was right. You can’t do anything about it. I was sure it was in. If there was a challenge, I would have asked for it. I really got angry because it was a crucial point and I could have lost the match. If she had got two net chords, it was over.

Elsewhere, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallists women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy advanced into the next round with a 21-16, 21-15 win over Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Yung and Yeung Nga Ting.

While, in the men’s doubles category, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy defeated Yonny Chung and Chun Hei Tam of Hong Kong 21-12, 21-14 to advance. They had also clinched the silver medals at the CWG in Gold Coast.

It was, however, curtains for Rutaparna Panda and Arathi Sunil, who lost 11-21, 6-21 to Thailand’s Chayanti Chaladchalam and Phataimas Muenwong in the second women’s doubles match.

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