The Hindu (Mumbai)

Sindhu in last eight; Srikanth bows out

Playing her first BWF tour event since returning from a knee injury, the twotime Olympic medallist battles her way past Zhang

- Press Trust of India

India's P.V. Sindhu produced another impressive show as she rallied to a threegame win over USA's Beiwen Zhang to advance to the women's singles quarterfin­als but it was curtains for K. Srikanth at the French Open Super 750 badminton tournament here on Thursday.

Playing her first BWF tour event since returning from a knee injury, Sindhu, a twotime Olympic medallist, battled her way from an openinggam­e reversal to outgun World No. 10 Zhang 1321, 2110, 2114 to enter her first quarterfin­al of the season.

Srikanth once again hit a roadblock, this time against Guang Zu to suffer yet another roundof16 loss, something which will bother him as he held a 50 record against the Chinese ahead of the match.

The former World No. 1 lost 1921, 2112, 2220 to the World No. 17 Chinese

In women's singles, Sindhu started the proceeding­s with a crosscourt winner but Zhang put up a defensive wall, engaging the Indian in long rallies dominated by a series of high tosses and clears.

Sindhu struggled with the conditions as, going for the backline, the Indian committed too many unforced errors to allow Zhang lead 117 and 149.

the season. Sindhu entered her first quarterfin­al of

Zhang's lifts repeatedly found the lines, while Sindhu missed time and again. Soon the American reestablis­hed a fivepoint lead at 1611 before grabbing eight game points. The Chinese converted when Sindhu sprayed into net again.

Zhang had good control over her shots as she led 30 with a couple of lovely drops in the second game. Sindhu managed to level things at 44 before pouncing on a weak return near the net to go 64 up.

Sindhu soon started dictating terms in the rallies to move to 95 with her steep returns troubling Zhang. The Indian held an 117 lead at the break. Sindhu opened an eightpoint gap with an overthehea­d smash which was followed by a cross hit.

The Indian moved to 11 game points with another precise return at the back and roared back into the contest when Zhang tossed one out.

Two smashes helped Zhang take a 42 lead in the decider but Sindhu made it 55 after winning a 34shot rally.

Zhang’s strokes were choppy as Sindhu moved to 85 before grabbing an 117 advantage.

Sindhu held on to the fourpoint lead at 1713 with another overthehea­d smash. A drop shot gave Sindhu six match points and she sealed it when Zhang made a net error.

In women’s doubles, Tresa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand beat Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto 1621, 2119, 2117 in the women’s doubles first round.


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