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Indonesia Open: Srikanth crushes out in the opening round; Sindhu advances


Defending champion Kidambi Srikanth crashed out in the opening round but Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu progressed to the quarter-finals with a thrilling win at the $1.25 million Indonesia Open in Jakarta on Wednesday.

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The seventh ranked Srikanth suffered 21-12, 14-21, 15-21 loss to Chinese Kento Momota in a game that lasted just an hour, while Sindhu defeated Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-15, 19-21, 21-13, to set up a clash with Japan’s Aya Ohori in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

It was the Indian’s seventh defeat in 10 meetings against Momota and second consecutive loss after being outwitted by the Chinese in the semi-finals of the Malaysia Open.

Srikanth had begun well against the 11th ranked shuttler who seemed to be clearly suffering from fatigue and stood no chance as Srikanth raced to a comfortable first-set victory.

But Momota who had strappings on both of his legs bounced in the second game, moving to a 3-0 lead early on before a patient Srikanth clawed back at 5-5 with a superb stroke at the net. The Indian’s stiffness however proved little in-front of an spirited Momota, who after building a slender lead of 11-9 at the break, quickly raced to 17-11 before levelling the game when Srikanth found the net.

Then in the final and the deciding set, Momota produced some razor-sharp returns and swift movements to win four points in a row and take a 16-11 advantage and clinch the victory.

Momota will next face Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the second round.

Sindhu’s victory over Chochuwong however brought some respite after Srikanth’s early exit, with the Olympic medallist eking out a thrilling win in the opening round.

The 22-year-old faced little difficulty in winning the opening set but the Thai bounced back to level the game and take it to the decider.

Sindhu then used all her experience in the final set to seal the win and advance to the next round.

Young Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka however crashed out after going down 12-21, 10-21 to Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt.

Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles category, the  pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy stretched the world no 2 Chinese pair of Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan to three games before surrendering 21-15, 15-21, 17-21 to the third seeded combo.

Similarly in the mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 12-21, 14-21 to fourth seeded pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong of China to knock themselves out of the tournament.

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