Fit-again top seed PV Sindhu led the charge as Indian shuttlers made short work of their respective rivals to enter pre-quarterfinals of the singles competition in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast on Wednesday (18).
Sindhu, who sat out of the gold-winning team campaign because of an ankle injury, took just 18 minutes to oust Fiji’s Andra Whiteside 21-6 21-3 in her first match of the competition.
“It has been pretty easy today. I hope that it continues tomorrow. I am better and totally fine, so it is really exciting,” she said and thanked the crowd for making her feel at home in a foreign land with its vociferous support.
Second seed Saina Nehwal, despite being exhausted considerably due to playing the entire team event, also took a mere 18 minutes to dispatch Elsie de Villiers of South Africa 21-3 21-1 in the round of 32 at the Carrara Sport and Leisure Centre.
The Olympic bronze-medallist was as sharp as she is at her best and showed no hint of exhaustion during the match.
“It has been a long week. I just want to be focused and enjoy the tournament. The plus point is I have been playing on this court. When you play somewhere for a week or two you get used to the conditions, so I think that is what happened,” she said.
Ruthivika Gadde too ensured that she wrapped up her match 18 minutes, sending Ghana’s Grace Atipaka out of the competition with a 21-5 21-7 triumph.
In the men’s draw, K Srikanth was also quite clinical as he got past Mauritian Aatish Lubah 21-13, 21-10.
“It was a good match and a good start to the individual event. I am really happy for the way it went, and I want to keep doing it,” he said.
Just like their dominant show in the team competition, the Indian shuttlers are expected to sweep the individual events.