Both players were playing after a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu and World No. 13 B Sai Praneeth faced major upsets in the first round of the Thailand Open on Tuesday.
The World No. 7 lost to Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt 16-21, 26-24, 21-13 in a three-game marathon, while Praneeth faced a 16-21, 10-21 defeat against Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the men singles.
Sindhu started the match pretty strongly and didn’t give a chance to Blichfeldt to get into her rhythm. She stretched her lead to 14-10 before her opponent showed some fight and took the score to 16-14. However, a few strong smashes saw the sixth seed taking the opening game.
The Indian shuttler sparkled at the start of the second game, as she was up 11-8 at the break. Blichfeldt took a different approach after the interval, as she moved Sindhu around the court and gained a few points in a row to level the score at 14-14.
From there on it was a seesaw battle between both stars, before the World No. 18 won the game 26-24 and took the match into the third game, where she probably played the best badminton of her career.
Sindhu started smoothly in the final game too, as she took a 3-0 lead. However, Blichfeldt had other ideas. She grabbed three points in a row with some powerful strokes. The Danish player capitalized on Sindhu’s lacklustre display, as she was up 11-6 at the break.
The sixth-seeded Indian wasn’t able to cope with Blichfeldt’s aggression after the break and drooped some easy points, before facing one of the major upsets of her career in a 1 hour and 13-minute long match.
On the other hand, Praneeth seemed out of form since the start of the battle and wasn’t able to put up a strong challenge in front of his opponent at any time in the match. The local star started the game swiftly and was up 18-14 after the break before winning the first game.
Praneeth wasn’t able to do much in the second game as well as he was down by 6-11 at the break. World No. 15 Wangcharoen hit some strong smashes before registering his second win over the Indian player.
Earlier, Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy advanced to the second round of mixed doubles with a 21-11, 27-29, 21-16 win over Indonesian pair of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.
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