Having suffered seven first round exits this year, Sindhu arrived at the $420,000 Super 500 Australian Open in Sydney to try and go deep and rediscover her confidence. The quarterfinals was all she could manage. On Friday, the two-time Olympic medallist, ranked no. 17 in the world, lost 12-21, 17-21 against world number 12 Beiwen Zhang of the US.
Sindhu, whose troubles started with a left ankle stress fracture last year, entered the match having beaten fellow Indians Ashmita Chaliha and Aakarshi Kashyap. Zhang, 33, was someone she had beaten six times in ten encounters. But on Friday, there was barely any competition between the two as Zhang won in fairly routine fashion.
This is not the ideal preparation for Sindhu as she heads into the World Championships in Copenhagen from August 21 to 27. Sindhu, winner of a silver and a bronze in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, respectively, and also the 2019 World Championship, had recently started working with her new coach, 2003 All England champion Muhammad Hafiz Hashim.
Prior to that she ended her coaching arrangement with Park Tae-Sang of Korea and then briefly teamed up with SAI coach Vidhi Chaudhary.
HS Prannoy and young Priyanshu Rajawat notched up contrasting wins to set up an enticing all-Indian men’s singles semifinal clash in the Australian Open Super 500 badminton tournament on Friday.
Orleans Masters champion Rajawat will make his maiden appearance in a semifinal of a Super 500 tournament after knocking out compatriot Kidambi Srikanth 21-13, 21-8 in a lop-sided men’s singles quarterfinal.
World number 9 Prannoy came out victorious after a slugfest with world number 2 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, bouncing back from an opening game reversal to notch up a gritty 16-21, 21-17, 21-14 win in a 73-minute battle.