Indian shuttling star PV Sindhu’s lackluster form continues as the double Olympic medallist lost in straight games to Zhang Yi Man of China on Wednesday, at the All England Championships in Birmingham.
During the 39-minute women’s singles match, the world number nine Indian suffered a 17-21 11-21 loss to her opponent and world no 17 Yi Man, who showed more agility and attacking intent than Sindhu, who appeared to be subdued and rusty throughout the match.
Before Wednesday’s match, they both had a 1-1 head-to-head record. In the first game, Sindhu led 6-5 and then increased the lead to 16-13. The Chinese shuttler, however, secured seven straight points to take the first game in 21 minutes by a score of 20-16.
Despite the scores being tied at 5-5 in the second, a few unforced errors from Sindhu caused her to drop behind again as she found herself 5-10 down. From there, she did recover to trail 7-11, before going down to 9-16, followed by Yi Man taking the second game as well as the victory.
This is Sindhu’s third exit in the first round this year. Earlier in January, she ended up losing to Carolina Marin of Spain at Malaysia Open in the first round, only to suffer a similar exit at the Indian Open a few days later.
She had recently parted ways with Park Tae-sang, who coached her to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Prior to Sindhu’s loss, the pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela earned a straight game win over Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in their women’s doubles opening round clash, thrashing their Thai opponents 21-18 21-14 in 46 minutes. Up next, Jolly and Pullela will be locking horns against Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota of Japan.
Earlier in the tournament, Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy had made opening starts to their respective men’s singles campaigns.
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