World champion PV Sindhu exited the $400,000 Hong Kong Open in the pre-quarterfinals while Kidambi Srikanth was the lone Indian shuttler to enter the quarter-finals on what a miserable Thursday for the contingent in the Super 500 tournament.
Srikanth reached the last eight on the BWF World Tour for the first time in seven months after claiming a thrilling win in men’s singles againts compatriot Sourabh Verma.
It was also curtains for HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap after they suffered contrasting losses in the second round.
World No. 6 Sindhu went down 18-21, 21-11, 16-21 to world No. 18 Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in 69 minutes to continue her indifferent run in international circuit. It was Sindhu’s first loss to the Thailand player in 11 meetings.
Sindhu, who claimed the World Championships gold in August, has made early exits from a series of recent tournaments in China, Korea and Denmark.
Earlier, former world No. 1 Srikanth, who slipped to the 13th spot in the latest BWF rankings this week, emerged as the only Indian survivor after notching up a 21-11, 15-21, 21-19 win over compatriot Verma in the men’s singles second round.
Srikanth had last reached the quarter-finals at the Singapore Open in April. The Guntur shuttler, who received a first-round bye from top seed Kento Momota of Japan, will face Olympic champion Chen Long of China next.
Earlier, H S Prannoy suffered a 12-21, 19-21 loss to sixth seed Indonesian Jonatan Christie in the second round.
In what was a heartbreaking result for India, former Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap played his heart out before going down narrowly to world No. 2 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-12, 21-23, 10-21 in a match that lasted exactly an hour. Kashyap had three match point opportunities in the second game to close it out but could not convert. The Taiwanese shuttler then made short work of the proceedings in the decider.
In other results, fourth seeded Japanese pair of Arisa Higashino and Yuta Watanabe the beat Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-19 21-12 in 42 minutes in the mixed doubles.
While five out of nine matches ended in defeats on Wednesday, pre-quarterfinals day turned out to be worse for the Indian shuttlers as only Srikanth managed to win in what was an all-Indian affair.
(With PTI inputs)