Shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth kept their medal hopes alive at Rio Olympics by storming into the women’s and men’s singles quarter-finals on Monday.
While, Srikanth reached the quarterfinals after a thrilling win over Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen in his Round of 16 match, two-time World Championship bronze-medallist P V Sindhu advanced to the last-eight stage after notching up a dominating straight-game win over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying at the Olympic Games here.
The 21-year-old from Hyderabad outclassed eighth seed Tai 21-13, 21-15 in a 40-minute pre-quarterfinals clash here. She will next face Chinese World No. 2 Wang Yihan, who is also the reigning Olympics silver medallist.
Sindhu opened up a 3-1 lead early on and even though Tai came back to draw level at 5-5, the Indian managed to lead 11-6 at the break.
Tai depended on her deceptive game to reduce the margin to 10-12 but she was equally erratic with her placements sometimes, while Sindhu showed better presence of mind.
Sindhu won a video referral to reach the game point at 20-13 and then pocketed it comfortably with Tai hitting wide.
After the change of ends, Sindhu once again moved to a 3-1 lead but she erred twice on her backhand returns to give away two points.
Tai tried to take away the pace from the rallies and came up with a few down the line smashes to make it 6-6 after Sindhu dropped her serve.
However, Tai’s inability to rein in her unforced errors saw Sindhu lead 11-6 at the interval.
Tai tried to put pressure on Sindhu but failed to give the finishing touch as Sindhu sailed away to a 14-7 lead.
With Sindhu in full flow, Tai seemed clueless and was not able to play her own game, staying away from the net.
The Chinese Taipei girl found it difficult to control the shuttle and hit long twice to allow Sindhu a lead of 17-11. A couple of drop shots deflected by the net chord took Sindhu to 19-12 before Tai sent one to the net to gift eight match points to Sindhu.
Tai saved three match points before another long shot saw Sindhu seal the issue in her favour.
Srikanth’s thrilling game
Srikanth began well in the first game and took an early lead, but Jorgensen came back immediately, as both fought toe-to-toe for most parts of the game.
However, Srikanth opened up a two-point lead to earn to game points at 201-8. He failed to convert the first of those points, but did so in the second to win the first game 21-19.
The second game was a see-saw affair, with the Indian shuttler taking an early lead, only to let Jorgensen a passage back into the match after dropping five consecutive points.
However, with Srikanth trailing 17-18, Jorgensen showed a bit of nerves and lost three straight points to give his opponent two game points.
In a similar result as the first game, Srikanth failed to convert his first point, but won the next to wrap up the match at 21-19, 21-19.
The match last for 42 minutes. Srikanth will next face China’s Lin Dan in the quarters on Wednesday.