Srikanth’s title defence ends in opening round, Sindhu wins

Jakarta: Defending champion Kidambi Srikanth’s campaign ended with a narrow opening-round loss but Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu eked out a thrilling win to progress to the women’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the USD 1,250,000 Indonesia Open BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament here on Wednesday.

Former World No 1 Srikanth suffered his second successive loss to in-form Japanese Kento Momota, ranked 11th, in two weeks. The Indian lost 21-12 14-21 15-21 in the opening match that lasted exactly an hour at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno. Momota had ended Srikanth’s campaign at Malaysia Open last week and even though the Indian failed to avenge the loss, it was a far superior performance by the 25-year-old fourth seed. Overall, it was Srikanth’s seventh loss to the former world no 2 Momota, who has been in impressive form since coming back from a one-year ban due to illegal gambling. However, Sindhu brought some smiles back in the Indian camp after seeing off Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-15 19-21 21-13, setting up a clash with Japan’s Aya Ohori on the eve of her 23rd birthday on Thursday.

Earlier, young Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka went down 12-21 10-21 to Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt. The men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy stretched the world no 2 Chinese pair of Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan to three games before surrendering 21-15 15-21 17-21 to the third-seeded combo. In mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 12-21 14-21 to fourth-seeded pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong of China.