World number 5 PV Sindhu was knocked out in the first round of the Malaysia Open on Wednesday. Sindhu was beaten by World No. 13 Chen Yufei of China 18-21, 21-19, 21-17.
In an another match, India’s Saina Nehwal was also shown the door by World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 19-21, 21-13, 21-15.
Sindhu’s loss comes as a bit of a shock given that she beat Spain’s Carolina Marin on Sunday to lift the India Open title. However, against the 19-year-old Yufei, she never had it easy.
Sindhu bagged the first game 18-21 and looked to have enough in reserve. However, Yufei staged a comeback to win the second game 21-19. In the third, pressure got to Sindhu as she failed to find a counter Yufei’s game and was outclassed 21-17. The match lasted for 68 minutes.
Sindhu’s record for the year now stands at 14-2.
Nehwal, too, fell to the 19-year-old Yamaguchi. The Indian veteran won the tightly contested first game 19-21. However, in the second game the Japanese player completely dominated Nehwal and started reading her game with ease.
She won the second game 21-13 as Nehwal was staring at yet another defeat. She never really got her groove back as she went on to lose the third game 21-15 as well. The match was over in 56 minutes
In the doubles encounter, Manu Atri and Sumeeth Reddy also were beaten in the first round by Liao Kuan Hao and Lu Chia Pin 18-21, 21-18, 21-17.
Earlier, Ajay Jayaram advanced to the second round after recording a comfortable 21-11, 21-8 win over China’s Qiao Bin..