It was the Indian veterans PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth who paved their way through to the quarterfinals of the Korea Open Super 500 on Thursday, while the younger guard – Lakshya Sen and Malvika Bansod – exited the tournament.
Sindhu, the World No 7, has dropped just one game in her last seven matches – in the semi-final of the Swiss Open in March.
And she was not troubled too much by the southpaw from Japan Aya Ohori, picking up a 21-15, 21-10 win in 37 minutes.
The second game, in particular, saw Sindhu put up a strong display when, trailing 8-9, she won 10 consecutive points to go up 18-9, later claiming the last four points in the match as well to go through to the quarterfinals. Sindhu, the third seed, will play the seventh seed from Thailand Busanan Ongbamrungphan for a spot in the last 4.
Facing another Thai opponent on Thursday, Bansod fell 21-8, 21-14 to sixth seed Pornpawee Chochuwong in their Round of 16 match.
In men’s singles, it was Srikanth who became the sole Indian player to go through to the top 8 after a lopsided 21-18, 21-6 win over Misha Zilberman of Israel.
The fifth seed from India had to work hard in the first game, but raced to a 12-0 lead in the second before closing the match out in 33 minutes.
His compatriot, the in-form World No 9 Lakshya Sen though went down tamely to Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia. Sen fought hard to lose a close first game, but folded in the second to lose 22-20, 21-9.
In men’s doubles, third seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty came up with a straight-games 21-15, 21-19 win over Singapore’s Yong Kai Terry Hee and Kean Hean Loh, while MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila retired after just eight minutes of play, trailing 5-8 to second-seeded Indonesian team of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
The mixed doubles team of B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also crashed in the Round of 16, losing a tight 54-minute match to fifth-seeded Chinese pair Xuan Yi Ou and Ya Qiong Huang 22-20, 18-21, 21-14.
PV Sindhu beat Aya Ohori (JPN) 21-15, 21-10
Malvika Bansod lost to Pornpawee Chochuwong (THA) 21-8, 21-14
Lakshya Sen lost to Shesar Hiren Rhustavito (INA) 22-20, 21-9
Kidambi Srikanth bt Misha Zilberman (ISR) 21-8, 21-6
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty bt Yong Kai Terry Hee/Kean Hean Loh (SIN) 21-15, 21-19
MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila retired against Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (INA) 5-8
B Sumeeth Reddy/Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Xuan Yi Ou/Ya Qiong Huang (CHN) 22-20, 18-21, 21-14