PV Sindhu's disappointing run post-Asian Games continues as the Indian shuttler was ousted from Denmark Open — World Tour Super 750 tournament as early as in the first round on Tuesday, October 16 at the Odense Sports Park.
Third-seeded Sindhu, lost to world number 10 Beiwen Zhang of the USA in three games — 17-21, 21-16, 18-21 in the Denmark Open match that extended to 56 minutes.
Coming back to the circuit after nearly a month's break, Sindhu looked rustic in the opening game, making quite a lot of unforced errors. However, she battled back and forced a decider despite being troubled by Zhang's body smashes and smart exchanges at the nets.
Sindhu was chasing the game in the decider but she managed to stitch an array of points that saw her go from being 8-12 down to 15-13. However, Zhang stepped up and closed out the match without giving the Indian shuttler another chance for a fightback.
Since reaching the Asian Games final in August, Sindhu hasn't managed to go past the quarter-final rounds on the BWF tour, exiting the Japan Open in the second round and the China Open in the last-eight stage.
Notably, Tuesday's loss is Sindhu's second against Zhang this year. The American shuttler had earlier piped the Rio Olympic silver medalist in the final of India Open 18-21, 21-11, 20-22 in a 69-minute marathon.
India's chances of finishing on the podium in the women's singles event will now rest on Saina Nehwal, who will open her campaign against Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan Yi later today. The London Olympic medalist's form has also been a cause of concern in what has been an ordinary year for Indian badminton.
In the absence of HS Prannoy, India's campaign in the men's singles category will be led by defending champion Kidambi Srikanth. He takes on local shuttler Hans-Kristian Vittinghus today in the first round.
The world number six, who won a record-equalling four Superseries titles last year, is yet to open his account on the tour this season.
Former Singapore Open champion Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma are also in the fray in the men's singles category.