New Delhi: The crowd went completely silent when Supanida Katethong hit the winning shot against home favourite PV Sindhu in the KD Jadhav Indoor Badminton Hall at Indira Gandhi Stadium on Tuesday evening.
PV Sindhu lost to Supainda Katethong from Thailand in the first round of India Open 2023 by 14-21, 20-22.
The world rank 7 from India was stunned by the 2022 India Open runner-up Katethong in straight sets. Coincidentally, Katethong had defeated PV Sindhu in the semi-finals of the India Open 2022.
Returning from an injury break, PV Sindhu started on a bad note losing four consecutive points to the Thai player. Sindhu recovered some points but Katethong raced into an 11-4 lead owing to her superb strokeplay and placement.
Sindhu replied with a few smashes and long rallies to cut down the deficit to 2 points and was trailing 11-13 at one point. Katethong though finished the game right away with 5 back-to-back points with a score of 21-14.
The crowd was completely behind PV Sindhu in the second game as she started with a lead of 3-2.
Sindhu looked a bit rusty as Katethong took an early lead of 10-8 in the second game. After the mid-game break, Katethong raced to a 16-12 lead like the first game and it looked like a repeat of the first game.
PV Sindhu started to fight back and cut down the deficit to 16-17 with a superb smash down the line.
Then Sindhu went on to take two back-to-back points and equalized the game 19-19 with the crowd thundering the chants of ‘Sindhu, Sindhu’ in her support.
Sindhu smashed one close to the net to win the game point. Her next shot near the sideline had the crowd on their feet before Katethong’s successful review cut the celebrations short.
Katethong sank to her knees as she scored the winner to defeat PV Sindhu.
This is second win for Katethong against PV Sindhu while Sindhu has won thrice against her.
PV Sindhu has faced her second consecutive first round exit after losing to Carolina Marin in the Malaysia Open 2023 earlier this month. Having returned from a five-mont injury layoff after the Commonwealth Games, Sindhu had started off the new year on a low note.