Kuala Lumpur: Olympic silver-medallist P V Sindhu made a positive start, staving off a stiff challenge from Japan’s Aya Ohori in the women’s singles opening round at the USD 700,000 Malaysia Open World Tour super 750 tournament, here today. Sindhu, who had skipped the Uber Cup Finals to regain full fitness after claiming a silver at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, took some time to get into the groove before she edged out world No.14 Ohori 26-24 21-15 in the opening round match.
The third-seeded Indian will face the winner of the match between Malaysia’s Ying Ying Lee and Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Ying Li next. However, it was curtains for Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth as he went down 12-21 7-21 to Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei in a men’s singles contest. Sindhu’s slender 8-6 lead vaporised when Ohori had a 12-10 and 15-13 advantage at one stage. But Sindhu managed to turn the tables, reaching 19-17. The Japanese came back to grab game points at 20-19 but the Indian saved one. However, she failed to convert three game points herself as Ohori again held a 24-23 lead.
In the end, Sindhu held her nerves to close out the opening game. In the second game, Sindhu eked out a slender 8-6 lead at one stage and despite a fightback by Ohori, she managed to break free at 14-14 to comfortably seal the contest. Kidambi Srikanth and men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be in action later in the day.