Birmingham, Mar 7:
A profligate P V Sindhu was Wednesday knocked out of the All England Championship by an industrious Sung Ji Hyun of Korea in the women’s singles opening round here.
In men’s singles, 2017 Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth defeated compatriot HS Prannoy 21-19, 21-19 in a pulsating contest.
Fifth-seeded Sindhu, who was beaten by Sung Ji twice in last three meetings, lost 16-21, 22-20, 18-21, despite saving as many as eight match points in the second and third game.
Sindhu went into the opener with an overall record of a 8-6 against Sung Ji but the Korean once again troubled the Indian in the 81-minute thrilling clash which went down to the wire.
Sindhu showed grit in the closing moments of the second and third game but also committed too many unforced errors during the match.
The Indian saved three match points at 17-20 in the second game to take the match to the decider, during which she saved five match points before suffering her fourth first-round loss at the USD 1 million event.
Sung Ji will face Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in the second round.
“I think I could have not given her big lead at the starting. It was too many points and it was difficult to cover,” Sindhu said after the loss.
“It was my bad luck probably as my mid court smashes were going to net. I was just hitting out but overall it was good match and she played well. She has good anticipations and there were long rallies.
“I had trained enough but it was just not my day. Such matches keep happening and I have to take it as a challenge and come back stronger.” The women’s doubles pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram also fought hard before losing 21-18, 12-21, 12-21 to the Russian combination of Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Daveltova.