Birmingham, March 16
PV Sindhu progressed to the quarterfinals of the All England Championship with a hard-fought win over Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol.
The world No. 3 Indian recovered from a slump to overcome the Thai shuttler 21-13 13-21 21-18 in a match which lasted an hour and seven minutes.
Coming into the contest, Sindhu had a 2-1 head-to-head record against Jindapol, who is enjoying a career-best rank of 11. The Indian kept the shuttle in play, pushing Jindapol to the corners and returning the shuttles with immaculate ease early on. In the first game, the duo split the initial six points before Sindhu jumped to a 7-3 lead after winning a long rally. Sindhu played a brilliant backhand return to move to 8-3 and eventually entered the interval with another precise stroke at the back of the court.
Sindhu zooms ahead
After the breather, Sindhu moved to a 15-7 lead and kept piling on the misery on the Thai who kept hitting the net and wide to bleed points. A body smash took Jindapol to double figures but she couldn’t go far as Sindhu grabbed a massive game point advantage with a deceptive return at 20-13. Jindapol then hit long to hand the game to the Indian.
In the second game, Jindapol opened up a 7-3 lead with a straight smash. Sindhu hit wide and also miscued a backhand return. Jindapol used a reverse slice and dominated the rally to zoom to a 11-3 advantage at the break.
Sindhu narrowed the gap to 10-14 but Jindapol enjoyed a lucky net chord and Sindhu sent one long as the Thai shuttler led 17-10 with another superb return.
Sindhu closed the gap to 13-17 with three straight points. A bad judgement and two successive wide shots from Sindhu gave Jindapol seven game points and she sealed it with a smash.
In the decider, Sindhu moved to a 3-0 lead and Jindapol made a few unforced errors to make it 8-5. Jindapol kept the pressure on and narrowed down the lead to 7-8. Sindhu produced a precise return to get another point but Jindapol clawed back at 9-9 after wrong footing the Indian. Sindhu held a slender 11-9 lead at the interval after Jindapol hit wide on both the sides of the flanks.
Jindapol moved to a 15-12 lead after Sindhu erred in her crosscourt return. The Thai unleashed a precise return to gain another point but found the tape next.
Sindhu produced an onrushing return at the back and then unleashed a couple of roaring smashes to make it 16-16.
Both missed the line next as it was 18-18. Sindhu then pounced on a chance at the net to grab the lead and then gained the match point when the Thai went to net. Jindapol netted again and Sindhu sighed a relief.
Pranaav-Reddy in Round 2
World No. 16 HS Prannoy outwitted Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto 21-10 21-19 in the second round. Earlier, he had beaten eighth seeded Chou Tien Chen 9-21 21-18 21-18.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy defeated the German combo of Marvin Emil Seidel and Linda Efler 21-19 21-13 in the opening round.