Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu bowed out of the Australia Open after going down in straight games to USA’s world number 12 Beiwen Zhang in the women’s singles quarterfinals on Friday.
Sindhu, who has slipped to world number 17th following a series of early exits, was looking to make her fourth semifinal of the season but found it tough to tame Zhang, losing 12-21 17-21 in 39 minutes in the USD 420,000 super 500 tournament.
In 10 past meetings, Sindhu had won six times against her opponent but she just couldn’t get going on Friday against the 33-year-old Chinese-born American Zhang, who showed better control to come up trumps.
Sindhu had beaten compatriots Ashmita Chaliha and Aakarshi Kashyap in the first two rounds but her loss to Zhang would come as a big disappointment as she heads to the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark to be held from August 21 to 27.
The 2019 world champion, Sindhu has been going through a lean patch since her recovery from an injury, and has repeatedly made early exits in as many as seven of the 12 BWF World Tour events this year.
Early this year, Sindhu had parted ways with Korea’s Park Tae-Sang and then briefly worked with SAI coach Vidhi Chaudhary. She is currently training under new coach Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, the 2003 All-England champion.
Among other Indians in fray, HS Prannoy will face top seed Anthony Ginting of Indonesia, while 2021 world championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth will take on compatriot Priyanshu Rajawat later in the day.