PV Sindhu moved into the quarterfinals of the All England Championships,PV Sindhu remained the only Indian challenge after the second round at the Birmingham Arena as Lakshya Sen and the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy exited the tournament on Thursday.
Sindhu registered a straight-forward win against South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun to advance to the quarter-finals even as Lakshya lost to Viktor Axelsen and Ashwini-Sikki were defeated at the hands of seventh seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi.
Sindhu beat Sung Ji 21-19, 21-15 in 49 minutes to remain the only Indian in fray.
Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya was knocked out after losing in straight games to Victor Axelsen here on Thursday. Lakshay went down to the world number seven Dane 17-21, 18-21 in a hard fought second round battle which lasted 45 minutes.
The 18-year old Indian, who won five titles last season, had defeated Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yiu Lee 17-21, 21-8, 21-17 in the opening round.
Ashwini-Sikki also failed to pose much challenge to the Japanese pair as they lost 13-21, 14-21 in 38 minutes.
On Wednesday night, star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal‘s chances of qualifying for the Olympics took a hit after she made a first-round exit, following a loss to Japanese nemesis Akane Yamaguchi.
Up against world number three Yamaguchi, it was a tough opening round for Saina, who lost 11-21, 8-21 in just 28 minutes.
Saina is placed 20th on the BWF rankings with 46267 points and the 2012 London Olympics bronze-medallist needs to enter the top-16 bracket by April 28 to make the cut for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
She now needs strong performances to pocket crucial ranking points but considering that several sporting events are being cancelled in view of the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak, it remains to be seen how many she actually gets to play.