Former champions P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth recorded contrasting victories to advance to the quarter-finals of the China Open World Tour Super 750 in Fuzhou on Thursday.
While Olympic and two-time World Championship silver medallist, Sindhu stamped her authority with a 21-12, 21-15 win over Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the second round, Srikanth got the better off Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in a three-game match.
The third seeded Indian, who had clinched the title in 2016, will face tough test against eighth seeded He Bingjiao next. Sindhu lost both the meetings against the world no 7 Chinese and would be eager to avenge her twin losses on Friday.
Sindhu didn’t give any chance to Busanan to come near her in the first game as she led right from the start and reached 11-4 at the break before slowly extending the advantage seal the game.
In the second game, Sindhu had a 4-0 early advantage but seven straight points helped Busanan to turn the tables and take a 7-4 lead.
The Indian, however, managed to wrest an 11-8 lead and kept her nose ahead to quell her rival’s challenge.
In the men’s singles, Srikanth, who had skipped the event due to a muscle strain last season, managed to script a come-from-behind 10-21, 21-9, 21-9 win over Tommy Sugiarto in a 45-minute men’s singles match.
The 25-year-old from Guntur had won the China Open in 2014, getting the better of the legendary Lin Dan of China. Next, he will face Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen, who won a silver medal at the Jakarta Asian Games this year.
World No 9 Srikanth has lost to Chen twice in the last three years. The only time he had an upper hand was at the 2014 Hong Kong Open.
Tommy, son of former world champion Icuk Sugiarto, dished out a dominating game to leave Srikanth to do the catching up act in the opening game.
The 30-year-old Indonesian grabbed an 11-6 lead at the break and comfortably moved ahead even as the Indian struggled.
Srikanth soon changed his tactics in time and looked a different player in the second game as he came out with all cylinders blazing, moving to a 11-6 lead and then dominating the proceedings completely.
The Indian gave away just three more points while grabbing the remaining 10 points to roar back into contest.
Srikanth dominated the decider as well, jumping from 7-3 to 13-3 before shutting the door on his rival with a similar 21-9 margin.
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