Badminton World C’ships: Sindhu cruises into quarters

Defending champion PV Sindhu stormed into the women’s singles quarter-finals of the BWF World Championships with a straight-game win over Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in Huelva, Spain, on Thursday.

The World No 7 Indian defeated Chocuwong, ranked three places below her, 21-14 21-18 in a match that lasted 48 minutes.

With this win, Sindhu, seeded sixth in the showpiece tournament, extended her head-to-head record against Chochuwong to 5-3.

Sindhu also avenged her twin loss to Chochuwong this season — group match of BWF World Tour Finals earlier this month and All England Championships in March.

Double Olympic medallist, Sindhu faces top seed and World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals. Ying beat Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour 21-10, 19-21, 21-11 to advance.             

Sindhu took an early 5-1 lead but Chochuwong rallied to narrow the gap to 5-4 and then to 10-9. The Indian zoomed ahead from there on as she made it 15-10 and then 19-11 to pocket the first game.

The second game was a tighter affair though Sindhu began on the front foot with a 3-0 lead. Sindhu led 11-6 at the change of ends and the second half saw some long rallies with the Thai player winning a few of them.

Sindhu was leading 16-10 but Chochuwong made a comeback of sort as she reduced the gap to 18-15 and then to 19-18.

Sindhu won a crucial point after a long rally to make it 20-18 before winning the second game and the match.  

Sindhu, who got a first round bye, had beaten Slovakia’s Martina Repiska 21-7 21-9 in the second round on Tuesday.

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