Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist and ranked world number nine, lost to Zhang Yi Man of China in straight games in Birmingham
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
India’s PV Sindhu crashed out of the first round of the All England Championships after losing to Zhang Yi Man of China in straight games in Birmingham on Wednesday (15).
Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist and ranked world number nine, lost 17-21 11-21 in the 39-minute women’s singles contest.
This is the third time Sindhu has lost her first round match this year.
She previously lost to Carolina Marin of Spain in Malaysia Open in January before exiting the Indian Open at the same stage in the same month.
Sindhu recently parted ways with her coach Park Tae-sang of Korea, under whose guidance she won a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
She came across as rusty and subdued throughout the match with her world number 17 opponent showing more agility and attacking intent.
There was not much to differentiate initially between the two who had a 1-1 head-to-head record before Wednesday’s match.
Sindhu led 6-5 and then made it 16-13. But the Chinese shuttler won seven straight points to lead 20-16 before taking the first game in 21 minutes.
In the second game, the two players were tied 5-5, but Sindhu committed a few unforced errors and was soon down 5-10. She recovered to trail 7-11, but was soon down 9-16 before losing the second game and the match.
Earlier during the day, India’s women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela stunned seventh seeded Thailand duo of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 21-18 21-14 in a 46-minute first round match.
The Indian duo will meet the Japanese pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in the pre-quarterfinals.
On Tuesday, Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy had won their respective men’s singles first round matches.