India’s PV Sindhu overcame Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 10-21, 21-15, 22-20 in a closely-contested, three-game opening match at the Singapore Open on Wednesday.
Okuhara, who is currently ranked 10th in the world started strongly, but Sindhu, who rose to a career high world No 2 ranking last week, pulled the game back with a commanding performance match that lasted more than an hour.
Sindhu was overwhelmed in the first game by the Japanese 22-year-old, who won it by a comfortable margin of 21-10. However, the Indian put up a much stronger resistance in the second game, maintaining her lead and finally clinching it 21-15 to force a deciding game. In the third game, Sindhu raced to a 3-0 lead and kept her nose ahead of her rival till the game point, when Okuhara mounted a last-gasp effort to reduce the once five-point gap to 20-20. However, Sindhu held her nerve to finally finish the gritty fight back on 22-10.
In their last tournament, Indian Open winner Sindhu was knocked out in the first round of the Malaysia Open after a shock 18-21, 21-19, 21-17 loss to World No. 13 Chen Yufei of China. Okuhara, on the other hand, had progressed to the semi-final before losing to runner-up Carolina Marin.
Sai Praneeth rallies to defeat Emil Holst
B Sai Praneeth bounced back after going a game down to defeat Denmark’s Emil Holst 17-21, 21-7, 21-19 in a match that went on for a touch over an hour. Praneeth will face China’s Qiao Bin in the next round.
There was no such luck for Rituparna Das, Sameer Verma and Sourabh Verma, Das lost 18-21, 13-21 to Taiwan’s Hsu Ya Ching. Sameer Verma, ranked 27th in the world, came second best against Hong Kong’s Hu Yun to lose 26-28, 21-23. Sourabh Verma lost 15-21, 14-21 to world No. 25, Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.