Day 3 Review of the BWF World Championships

By: Editor
Date: 22 Aug, 2019
Image Courtesy: HyderabadHunters

The third day of the ongoing Total BWF World Championships 2019, produced a bit of a mixed bag of results for the Indian contingent, with wins in men’s & women’s singles but some tough luck in the men’s and women’s doubles.

It was women’s singles that attracted the most attention for the Indian fans, as both PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were in action for the first time at the championships this year. Having received a bye in their opening encounters, both the former Olympic medalists were keen to put up an impressive performance and they did exactly that.

PV Sindhu was on court against Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei, who played well in flashes, but the class of PV Sindhu was too much for her to overcome. Sindhu won in two comfortable games 21-14 21-15 to book a pre-quarters clash against number nine seed Beiwen Zhang.

Sindhu took an early lead in the opening game and never allowed Po to close the gap to less than two points and easily took the game to assert her dominance. Po briefly managed a comeback midway through the second game, as she held a one-point advantage at the halfway interval. But then Sindhu reeled off four points on the bounce and shut down any hopes of a possible comeback.

Sindhu won in 42 minutes, a good workout and a comfortable win for the world number 5, ahead of some of the tougher battles that await.

Saina Nehwal, also booked her pre-QF slot with an easy win over Dutchwoman Soraya De Visch. Spending just over half hour on court, Saina looked impressive during the course of her 21-10 21-11 win and will now square-off against Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark for a place in the last eight.

Srikanth Kidambi was the lone Indian in the men’s singles action and he managed a decent start in the opening exchanges. However, it was the challenger Misha Zilberman of Israel who took the lead midway through the first game and held on to it, to take the opening game. It was now incumbent upon Srikanth to take the match to the decider and reversed the score-line in the second game to take the match to the third game.

In the final game, Srikanth put all his experience into play, racing into a 5-0 lead and then expanding it to a commanding 14-4 lead at one stage. Misha flickered into home with a string of five points together, but Srikanth was never letting the advantage slip as he closed out the match 13-21 21-13 21-16.

In men’s doubles action, B Sumeeth Reddy/Manu Atri combined to take on sixth seeds Hang Cheng Kai/Zhou Hao Dong. The opening exchanges saw both teams go neck and neck, before the Chinese pulled away at the halfway mark in the opening game, while in the second game Sumeeth/Manu had a chance to force a decider at 18-18 but couldn’t capitalize on the chance, eventually losing 21-16 21-19.

Shlok Ramachandran/MR Arjun, were the final Indian pair left in the men’s doubles and they lost 21-14 21-13 to another Chinese team Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan.

In women’s doubles, Sikki Reddy/Ashwini Ponnappa went up against the seventh seeds Yue Du/Yin Hui Li in their second-round tie. Sikki/Ashwini raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening game and stayed ahead most of the game only to be pipped right at the end. Leading 20-16, the Indian pair lost the next 6 points on the trot as the Chinese took the opening game.

The second game was on more of an even kneel tied 10-10 at one stage, but once again the Chinese pair put together a string of points together at the end to take the game and the match 22-20 21-16. Having started well in both games and competed so hard, it must be really tough one for Sikki/Ashwini to swallow.

Meghana Jakkampudi/Poorvisha Ram were the first of the Indians to take to the courts on Day three, as they went up against Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto of Japan. Having lost the opening game relatively easily, they really gave it their all in the second to come back a fraction short and lost the match 21-8 21-18.

With four loses in the doubles events, the Indian contingent ended its campaign in all of the doubles categories. Day 4 will see 3 men’s singles & 2 women’s singles players as some high octane clashes will go underway in Basel, Switzerland.

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