World badminton champion PV Sindhu qualified for the second round of the ongoing Indonesia Masters with the help of a hard-earned win against her Japanese opponent Aya Okhori in the first round on Wednesday. However, defending women’s singles champions Saina Nehwal was crashed out in the first round.
The fifth-seeded Sindhu rallied from one game down to beat Okhori 14-21, 21-15, 21-11 to maintain her unbeaten streak against the world number 20 Japanese player.
The Indian shuttler has never lost a match against her in their 10 meetings so far and in last week’s Malaysia Open also, Ohori was her victim in the second round. In the next round, the 24-year-old will face another Japanese opponent in the form of Sayaka Takahashi.
Meanwhile, Saina, who won the Indonesia Open title in 2019 before embarking on a lean phase of her career, lost 21-19, 13-21, 5-21 to Takahashi in a gruelling fight which lasted for 50 minutes. Saina had made it to the quarters of the Malaysia Masters last week.
World No.12 Srikanth went down to local favourite Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 21-18 12-21 14-21 in a match that lasted one hour and three minutes.
This was Srikanth’s second consecutive opening-round defeat this season. He had earlier also made a first-round exit from the Malaysia Masters.
Praneeth, who like Srikanth had also been ousted in the opening round of the Malaysia Masters, lost to the eighth-seeded Chinese Shi Yu Qi 21-16 18-21 10-21. Sourabh lost 21-17 15-21 10-21 to China’s Lu Guang Zu.
In the mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy went down in straight games to the South Korean combination of Ko Sung Hyun and Eom Hye Won 8-21 14-21.
(With inputs from PTI)