Rio de Janeiro : Two time World championship bronze medallist PV Sindhu and former China open winner Kidambi Srikanth celebrated the Independence day in style as they kept India alive in the Olympic Badminton competition. The two gave clinical performance to cruise into quarterfinals of their respective singles events. Sindhu overwhelmed Chinese Taipei's Tzu Ying Tai 21-13, 21-15 in the women's singles while earlier Srikanth upset beating world No 5 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark 21-19, 21-19.
The Indian seeded 9th maintained an edge over her rival through out the contest and never trailed, but Tai did not give up easily though she know that she was facing an uphill task.
She [Tai] was a very tricky player," Sindhu told mediapersons after the match. "Even though I was leading, nothing was for granted. It was a good game, and even she played well. Prior to his encounter the Indian who had a 2-4 record against Tai Tzu having beaten her last at the Denmark Open last year, opened up a 3-1 lead early on and managed to surge ahead 11-6 at the break. Tai fought back and at one stage reduced the gap 1o-12 but then Sindhu with some superb cross court shots and fiery returns made it 15-13 and after that reeled off eight straight points to clinch the set.
In between she displayed better nerves as she won a video referral to reach game point at 20-13 .
The Chinese Taipei girl depended on her deceptive game, but all her good tactics were negated by the unforced errors she made. It was the same story in the second in which Sindhu took a 3-1 lead, but she committed unforced errors to allow her rival to draw parity. The eighth seed Tai tried to take put pressure on her rival and with few long rallies and down-the-line smashes to made it 6-6. The second game started like the first with Sindhu taking 3-1 lead, but she also committed errors twice on her backhand and that enabled Tai to make t 3-3.
Tai tried to put pressure on Sindhu with some long rallies and with few down-the-line smashes to make it 6-6. However, Sindhu soon regained her rhythm while Tai kept making mistakes enabling the Indian to lead 11-6. In desperation Tai conceded many a easy points to Sindhu which she should not have finishing touch as Indian consolidated her lead 14-7. Sindhu then further increased her lead 17-11 and after that even luck favoured the Indian as with a couple of drop shots deflected by the net chord took her to 19-12. The Indian made it 20-12, but Tai managed to save three match points before she again returned wide to give Indian the game and the match.
"I was not just aiming at the body. It was a mix of everything. Sometimes, I was hitting out, but I was always alert, and ready for the next point. I didn't take it easy. " Srikanth will next play two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China tomorrow, while Sindhu will have to beat China's Wang Yihan for a spot in the semi-finals. "It's a tough match tomorrow against the world no 2," Sindhu said. "A lot will depend on the strategy on that particular day, which I'll have to discuss with my coach. " Srikanth had joined Parupalli Kashyap as the only two Indian men's singles players to reach the quarterfinals of the Olympics.