World No 3 PV Sindhu will have to wait a bit longer to break her title drought in 2018 as she was beaten by eighth seed He Bingjiao in three games in the quarter-finals of the China Open Super 750 badminton tournament in Fuzhou on Friday.
Sindhu was later joined at the exit by Kidambi Srikanth, who looked washed out as he lost in straight games to fourth seed Chou Tien Chen.
Bingjiao, one of the two Chinese in the women’s singles quarter-finals, beat Sindhu 21-17, 17-21, 21-15 to the delight of the home crowd. She will take on former world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Sindhu decided to take her attacking game to the Chinese in the match and played well for major parts, but was undone by some superb control and deception from Bingjiao. The Olympic silver medallist was in control for most part of the first game but, in the last third, she was guilty of not grabbing the opportunities to kill points as the Chinese found a way in and sneaked ahead.
Sindhu continued with her aggressive game in the second and went for quick attacks, which caught Bingjiao off guard. The Indian managed to pocket the second game by the same margin she lost the first and sent the match into a decider.
Unfortunately for Indian fans, Sindhu was not able to keep up the pressure in the decider as she allowed Bingjiao to open up an early lead. The Chinese stretched her lead to 15-8 at one point, when it seemed Sindhu had given up. However, the Indian went for one final push and closed the gap to a point at 15-16. Bingjiao was in no mood to relent as she won the next six points to bag the match.
The defeat meant that Sindhu could not make the most of world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying’s absence from this tournament. This was the Indian’s best chance to break her title drought considering the Taiwanese, who was won eight tournaments this year, would not be in the way.
Srikanth started his quarter-final match well against Chou. The former world No 1 held a two-to-three-point lead over the Taiwanese up to 10-8, before his opponent went on a run of six straight points. Srikanth never recovered from there as he conceded the first game 14-21.
Any hopes of a Srikanth revival in the second game were crushed early as Chou raced to a 10-4 lead. Srikanth looked completely off colour and did not even attempt to reach some of the shuttles. His right thigh was strapped, so that may have been one of the reasons for his form.
Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan brought an end to India’s campaign as they defeated Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in the men’s doubles quarterfinals.
Ahsan and Setiawan, ranked No 14 in the world, won 21-11, 16-21, 21-12 in 42 minutes against the in-form Indian duo.