Shanghai: India’s hopes of a medal came to an end after ace shuttler and world no. 2 PV Sindhu suffered a shock exit to the lesser known Gao Fangjie of China in the quarter-finals of the $700,000 China Open Super Series Premier on Friday.
Sindhu who looked exhausted and completely off-colour in the 38 minute match, lost 11-21, 10-21 in straight sets, with Fangjie dominating the proceedings.
The 22-year-old, India’s lone survivor in campaign struggled to cope up with the variety of shots and clever movements of her opponents, with the long rallies, not helping her cause either.
It was however Sindhu, who looked confident in the early exchanges, taking a 2-0 lead before her younger competitor with her quick turn of shots turned the tables at 4-3. It was all Fangjie from there and although Sindhu played some smart moves and smashes to stand at 9-11 at the break, the 19-year-old Chinese took 10 from the next 12, to seal the first game.
The second game was similarly one-sided, as Sindhu found it hard to combat the the clever footwork of Fangjie, as the 89-ranked Chinese raced to a 7-2 lead at the start. Although Sindhu rallied back to make it 6-10, the lead was huge and with the Indian making several unforced errors, it was only a matter of time before Fangjie wrapped it up, earning five points on the trot to win the game 21-10 and progress to the semi -finals.
Earlier, both the Indian National Champions Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy crashed out of the China Open after losing their respective pre -quarterfinal matches on Thursday and with Sindhu suffering another shock exit, the country’s hopes of another medal in another Super Series drew to an end.
All the three shuttlers will next be seen in the Hong Kong Open, where Sindhu had reached the finals in 2016 and will aim to better the colour of her medal this time around.