The quarter-finals of the ongoing Toyota Thailand Open would prove to be a thrilling contest as Indian shuttlers were to take the court in 4 matches. After Ashwini Ponnappa-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy’s win and Sameer Verma’s loss, all eyes were on PV Sindhu.
Rio silver medalist PV Sindhu had cruised into the quarter-finals by beating her opponents comfortably in the first two rounds. However, local favorite Ratchanok Intanon proved to be too high a hurdle for the Indian megastar as Intanon won the match in a straight game victory. The two players had clashed eight times in the past and shared a record of 4-4 among themselves.
The disappointing loss
Thai player Ratchanok Intanon was in her top form as she took the lead in the early exchanges. She controlled the game and took a four-point lead going into the mid-game break. She barely put a foot wrong as she was on a run of eight straight points. Intanon took the first game, 21-13, in no time.
Reigning world champion PV Sindhu couldn’t recreate the aggressiveness and fierce game she usually shows. Anything she tried just didn’t work today. She was all over the place in the second bout as Intanon took the game comfortably with a massive lead of 21-9. The final scores were, 21-13, 21-9.
“I think I made a lot of unforced errors and I think that I gave away easy points. I didn’t play my best today. It wasn’t my day. Some of my lifts were going out and going out of control. I was hitting with so much power sometimes. I should have controlled things a lot more. Intanon is a great player and I was prepared for that. I was responding to all her strokes, but I was making mistakes. If I had won the first game, I think things would have been comparatively different,” Sindhu said.
The final Indian appearance in the quarter-finals will be of 2019 Thailand mens doubles champions, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. The former has already reached the semi-finals with a thrilling win in the mixed doubles. It will be interesting to watch if the duo join Ashwini Ponnappa in the next round of Toyota Thailand Open.