There is no end to P V Sindhu’s poor run as the star Indian shuttler made a first-round exit from the All England Championships after losing to Zhang Yi Man of China in straight games here on Wednesday.
The world No. 9 Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist, lost 17-21, 11-21 in the 39-minute women’s singles contest.
This is the third time that Sindhu has lost her first-round match this year. She had lost to Carolina Marin of Spain in Malaysia Open in January before exiting the Indian Open at the same stage in the same month.
In the men’s singles, Kidambi Srikkanth beat Toma Junior Popov of France 19-21, 21-14, 21-5 in the first-round match that lasted one hour and three minutes.
Srikkanth will now face seventh seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan in the pre-quarter finals.
Sindhu, who had recently parted ways with her coach Park Tae-sang of Korea, was rusty and subdued throughout the match with her world No. 17 opponent showing more agility and attacking intent.
There was not much to differentiate between the two who had 1-1 head-to-head record before Wednesday’s match.
Sindhu led 6-5 and then made it 16-13. But the Chinese shuttler won seven straight points to lead 20-16 before taking the first game in 21 minutes.
In the second game, the two players were tied 5-5 but Sindhu committed a few unforced errors and was soon down 5-10.
Sindhu recovered a bit to trail 7-11 but was soon down 9-16 before losing the second game and the match.
Earlier in the day, India’s women doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela stunned seventh-seeded Thai duo of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 21-18, 21-14 in a 46-minute first-round match.
In men’s doubles, sixth-seeded India pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat compatriots Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala 21-13, 21-13 in all-Indian first-round match.