The exit of the Olympic medalist was the headline of the day for the Indian contingent at the tournament.
India’s campaign at the Toyota Thailand Open faced a major jolt on Day 4 of the tournament. Olympic medalist PV Sindhu crashed out of the competition with a straight-game defeat to fourth-seeded Ratchanok Intanon. The Thai international cruised through the contest convincingly as she registered 21-13, 21-9 victories in the two games.
Infact, the first game was evenly poised at 13-13. However, Intanon won eight consecutive points from thereon to bag an early advantage in the match. Sindhu needed a strong comeback, but she succumbed 21-9 in the next game. Her counterpart maintained a robust lead throughout and was up 11-4 at the halfway mark in the second game. Intanton will now come up against top-seeded Tai Tzu Ying in the semi-finals.
Similarly, Sameer Verma exited the tournament, as Danish shuttler Anders Antonsen secured a 21-13, 19-21, 22-20 victory over him in the quarterfinals. Verma had bounced back to win the second game 21-19 and pushed Antonsen to the edge in the decider too. However, the third-seeded player bagged a narrow 22-20 victory. The match lasted for a lengthy 81 minutes, as both players upped the ante in the second and third games. However, Antonsen maintained his composure to bag two crucial consecutive points when the third game was deadlocked at 20-20.
However, star Indian doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty continued their impressive run in the circuit. They ousted Malaysian internationals Yew Sin Ong and Ei Yi Teo 21-18, 24-22 to make their way to the semi-finals of the competition. The Indian pair displayed terrific ability to seize the crucial moments of the contest.
The first game was stuck at 18-18 before they swiftly earned three consecutive points to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Subsequently, the second game was stuck at 22-22 and it was anyone’s match from there. Rankireddy and Shetty claimed two points straightaway yet again to enter the last four.
Rankireddy then paired with Ashwini Ponnappa to defeat Malaysian mixed doubles pair of Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh. The Indian duo had dropped the first game 18-21. But, they bounced back well to win the next two 24-22 and 22-20 to seal a spot in the semi-finals.
Rankireddy and Ponnappa will come up against Thai duo Dechapool Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the last four contest at the Thailand Open. Hence, it can be concluded that India’s hopes of success in this tournament now rest on the performance of the country’s doubles’ players.