Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu made a shock first-round exit from the Indonesia Open Super 1000 event after suffering a straight-game defeat against China’s He Bing Jiao on Tuesday.
The seventh seeded Sindhu lost 14-21 18-21 to Bing Jiao in the women’s singles.
Sindhu, a former world champion, has won two Super 300 titles — the Syed Modi International and the Swiss Open — this season.
By virtue of this win, world No. 9 Bing Jiao, whom Sindhu had defeated at the Badminton Asia Championship, lead the Indian 10-8 on head-to-head record.
The defeat at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno has affected Sindhu’s preparations for next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Also bowing out was B Sai Praneeth, who lost 16-21 19-21 to Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark, in the men’s singles.
Sameer Verma was the lone Indian singles player to move to the next round on the day as he notched an easy 21-19 21-15 win over France’s Thomas Rouxel in 45 minutes.
He will face sixth seeded Malaysian Lee Zii Jia in the second round.
The women’s doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy, too, advanced to the pre quarterfinals, with a 21-15 21-8 win over the Indo-US duo of Ishika Jaiswal and Srivedya Gurazada.
The mixed doubles pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto faced similar fate as Sindhu and Praneeth as they too crashed out in the opening round after losing 14-21 11-21 to Hong Kong combination of Chang Tak Ching and NG Wing Yung Hong in just 32 minutes.
It was the end of the road for Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy as they went down to third seed Japanese pair of TakuroHoki and Yugo Kobayashi 8-21 11-21 in the men’s doubles event.
In the Sindhu versus Bing Jiao match, the Indian was slow off the blocks as the Chinese didn’t let her get a grip, racing to a 9-2 lead and then extending it to 11-4 at the break.
Sindhu began playing aggressively after the break and pocketed four straight points to reduce the deficit to 8-11. But the Chinese didn’t allow Sindhu to dominate the affair and easily bagged the first game.
Trailing, Sindhu was expected to come out all guns blazing in the second game but it was Bing Jiao, who took an early 5-1 lead.
Although the Chinese enjoyed a slight upper hand throughout the second game, Sindhu kept it close. But eventually, Bing Jiao sealed the match in her favour.