England Open: PV Sindhu in the quarterfinals, Kidmabi Srikanth ejected

HYDERABAD: PV Sindhu last breeze Beiwen Zhang 21-14, 21-17 while Kidmabi Srikanth and mixed doubles combine from Pranaav Jeery Chopra and Sikki Reddy left the England Championship losing their first round matches in Birmingham on Wednesday.

With 15-21, the loss of 16-21 a Chen Long , Srikanth's Olympic dream is falling apart, as the former world No. 1 would lose around 3050 points and could fall from the top 25 in the race to the Tokyo ranking. A player must be in the top 16 at the end of April to make the cut.

Pranaav and Sikki gave a scare to the world champions and the best seeded Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong of China 13-21, 21-11, 17-21. They did well in the decisive until 16-16 before the Chinese escaped scoring five consecutive points to win the match.

India's best hope Sindhu warmed up with an impressive victory against Zhang. Sindhu was in full flow in the first game and was hardly tested by the American.

However, the world number 14, which had a 4-5 record in wins and losses against Sindhu, recovered in the second game and at one stage even led with 15-11. It was here that Sindhu changed gears.

Two errors not forced by Zhang at this stage helped Sindhu return to the contest. With rapid progress and great success, Sindhu scored two more points and reached Zhang with a skilful fall.

At 16-16 hours, the referee warned Sindhu for wasting time and even showed a yellow card. Not bothered by this, Sindhu played a good rally and advanced to 17-16. Sindhu controlled the game from here and induced Zhang to make four consecutive mistakes to take the game.

In the quarterfinals on Thursday, Sindhu plays Ji Hyun Sung of Korea, who defeated Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand 23-21, 21-10. Sindhu won eight of sixteen games he played against the No. 12 in the world.

From the side of the Sindhu box, fourth seed Nozomi Okuhara , Likely opponent of Sindhu in the quarterfinals, fifth seed Ratchanok Intanon and the top seed Chen Yufei He advanced to the second round.

Sindhu told TOI that he was happy to have a good start in All England. It was a good game in general, I had a good start in the tournament. The first game I won comfortably but in the second I granted an 11-15 advantage. But even at this stage I did not lose hope and was prepared for everything. There were long demonstrations. It usually takes time to adapt in the first game of a tournament, but I am happy that it went well, Sindhu said.

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