Sindhu suffers first-round exit; Gayatri-Treesa advance

PV Sindhu

BIRMINGHAM, March 15: Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu suffered an early exit from the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships after losing to China’s Zhang Yi Man in the women’s singles opening round here at the Utilita Arena on Wednesday.
Sindhu, ranked ninth in the world, lost to the world No.17 Chinese shuttler 17-21, 11-21 for her third first-round exit of the year. The former world champion also crashed out early from the Malaysia Open and India Open earlier this year.
Playing against the drift, the Indian ace started with a measured approach and held a lead at 16-13. However, Zhang’s cross-court smashes helped to claw her way back into the match and sealed the opening game 21-17.
After the change of sides, Sindhu seemed to struggle to lift her game as Zhang Yi Man opened a four-point lead at the time of the mid-game break and built on it to seal the match in 39 minutes.
Earlier in the day, teenage women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who got a major breakthrough in their career in the last edition as they entered the semifinal after being promoted from the reserves, got off to a winning start and paved a way to the second round.
Treesa and Gaytari registered a 21-18, 21-14 straight games victory against seventh seeds Thai pair Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.
This was the Indians’ first win over the Thai pair in five meetings. (IANS)