Indian badminton stars Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and PV Sindhu lost their second round matches at the $200,000 Chinese Taipei Open Grand Prix Gold tournament at Taipei on Thursday. The Taiwanese GPG tournament has a rich field in men, women single’s and other categories with most top players participating. While India’s Saina Nehwal opted to skip the event, it was heartbreak for Indian fans that other highly rated stars could not make their presence felt. Double World Championship bronze medalist Sindhu couldn’t stand against third-seeded Taiwanese Tai Tzu Ying as she went down 15-21, 17-21 in 32 minutes. The men’s singles third seed Srikanth played a sub-par game inconsistent with his high ranking in losing 19-21, 18-21 to Indonesia’s Ihsan Maulana Mustofa in 40 minutes and qualifier Sameer Verma lost 19-21, 16-21 to world no.1 Chinese top seed Chen Long. Other seeded players made expected progress in the event and notable among them was Malaysia’s former world no.1 Lee Chong Wei, who has set up a quarterfinal showdown with the no.1 seed Chen Long of China. No.2 seed Jan O Jorgensen and no.4 seed Lin Dan also reached the quarterfinals on Thursday. Among women, top seed Ratchanok Intanon and no.2 seed Li Xuerui have entered the quarterfinals.
India’s shuttlers conducted themselves poorly at Chinese-Taipei Open and their collective performance in second round matches was nothing to talk about. PV Sindhu, who recently had a long injury lay-off, played second fiddle to the local favorite and no.3 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan. Tzu Ying was untroubled in her 21-15, 21-17 victory over Sindhu in a little over half hour. In men’s draw, Kidambi Srikanth could not show his mettle and was far below his true form against Indonesia’s Ihsan Maulana Mustofa. The Indonesian beat the Indian 21-19, 21-18 in a 40-minute second round. After his brisk first round 21-17, 21-15 victory over Taiwan’s Tzu Wei Wang on Wednesday, Srikanth was expected to go higher but he fell against the unseeded Mustofa. Qualifier Sameer Verma was up against the no.1 seed Chen Long of China and lost his match 19-21, 16-21. After RMV Gurusaidutt’s first round loss to an Indonesian qualifier Shesar Hiren, the Indian challenge at the 2015 Chinese-Taipei Open has come to an end.
Other seeded players made expected progress in the Taipei tournament. Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who is not among the seeded players because of his low world ranking, is already through to the quarterfinals. Chong Wei was untroubled in his 21-12, 21-18 victory over Indonesian tenth seed Tommy Sugiarto in the second round before demolishing no.6 seed Chinese Wang Zhengming 21-10, 21-15 in the third round. In the quarterfinal on Friday, Chong Wei plays the top seed Chen Long for a place in the semifinals. On his part, Chen Long dismantled Taipei’s no.15 seed Hsu Jen Hao 21-16, 21-2 to reach the quarterfinals. No.2 seed Jan O Jorgensen also reached quarterfinal by seeing off Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana 21-10, 21-10. Similarly the no.4 seed Chinese Lin Dan made it to the round- of-eight by defeating Taiwan’s Chi Hung Lu 21-16, 21-15. In women’s draw, the no.7 seed Akane Yamaguchi had withdrawn before the tournament and no.5 seed Sung Ji Hyun of Korea lost in the first round. Other than these two, all seeded players have entered the quarterfinals. In their third-round matches, top seed Ratchanok Intanon beat China’s Sun Yu 21-16, 14-21, 21-11 and no.2 seed Li Xuerui of China defeated Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-18, 21-17. Intanon next takes on Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju while Xuerui will have a tougher challenge against Japan’s no.8 seed Nozomi Okuhara.
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