Two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu stormed into the second round of the Syed Modi International Super 300 tournament with a dominating straight game win over fellow Indian Tanya Hemanth in the women’ singles competition in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Sindhu leads a whole of Indian shuttlers into the round of 16 as well, in a tournament that sees a large percentage of home participation. The 26-year-old from Hyderabad, who lost in the semifinals at India Open Super 500 last week, thrashed Tanya 21-9 21-9 in a quick contest at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium. However, 18-yea-old Tanya did show glimpses of good fight, starting well in both first games. The Indian however raced ahead with her array of drops and slices that proved a bit too tough for her opponent.
A former world champion, Sindhu will square off against USA’s Lauren Lam, who managed to get past a fighting Ira Sharma 15-21 21-16 21-16.
Sindhu’s potential quarterfinal match against Thailand’s Supanida Katethong remained on course as the world No 30 overcame a spirited challenge from Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli 21-13 21-13 in 31 minutes.
Among the notable results were Kanika Kanwal defeating USA’s Disha Gupta in women’s singles and Kaushal Dharmamer overcoming Jia Heng Jason Teh, in what were the wins for Indians against non-Indian players. Also progressing were Treesa Jolly (in both doubles with Gayatri Gopichand and mixed doubles with MR Arjun), Chirag Sen and Mithun Manjunath.
Also impressing was young Samiya Imad Farooqui who defeated experienced Shruti Mundada 17-21 21-11 21-10 in a three-game match that lasted 48 minutes. Samiya will next face compatriot Kanika Kanwal in the next round. Sai Uttejita Rao won 21-9 21-12 Anjana Kumari and will now compete with Aakarshi Kashyap in the next round.
All eyes at the tournament are on Sindhu, who is playing despite having a hectic end to the 2020 season. Perhaps a title win at India Open might have changed her and coach Park Tae Sang’s mind but her early defeat has meant she is out there in Lucknow looking to go the distance and clinch a title to receive a points boost (anything less wouldn’t quite help her this being a Super 300 event).
Kanwal overcame USA’s Disha Gupta 21-15 16-21 21-6 to also make a winning start to her campaign.
Russia’s Evgenia Kotskaya, fifth seed, defeated India’s Vaidehi Chowdhury 21-16, 21-10.
Covid-19 continued to be a factor at the tournament as more matches had to be cancelled on Wednesday. According to a press statement issued on behalf of the organising secretary, Ridhi Kaur Toor, Likhita Srivastava, Satinder Malik, Apoorva Javedkar, Deepak Khatri, Kushal Raj and Garv Sahni tested positive.
Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong, who played a superb match against Lakshya Sen in the semifinal at India Open, was unwell due to which he was also ruled out of the tournament, the statement added. BAM, however, confirmed that Tze Yong did not test positive and was just feeling unwell, according to New Straits Times.
Full results of the day available here.