PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth won their individual matches in the badminton event at Rio Olymics 2016 to enter quarterfinals, keeping India's hope of securing medal alive. But before, Saina Nehwal, a bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympics, was defeated by Maria Ulitina of Ukraine 21-18 21-19 in the Group G match, causing one of the biggest upsets in the 2016 Rio Olympics. This loss has resulted in end of Saina’s run at the competition. Although Saina commenced her game leading 6-1, Maria played wonderfully causing constant troubles for her opponent on the cross court. Saina continued her opening game well till the interval leading at 11-10. Later on, Saina succumbed to pressure from Maria, who used a combination of long hits and drop shots to finally win the opening game 21-18. Although Saina led the second game 11-9 till interval, Maria continued to target the cross court and won the game 21-19. This is the worst performance for Saina in the Olympics as she had entered the quarterfinals in Beijing in 2008 and had achieved the feat of winning a bronze medal in London 2012.
The ninth seed Sindhu played dominantly to defeat Tai Tzu-ying, an eighth seed player from Chinese Taipei, in straight games 21-13, 21-15 within 40 minutes and entered the quarter-finals of the women's singles badminton event. The win keeps her chances to receive a medal in her first Olympic appearance.
Sindhu employed her height to her advantage as she put pressure on Tai with jump smash and deft touch. This made Tai to make unforced errors. Sindhu will require great tricks that she employed successfully against Tai in the quarters as she will be challenged by world No. 2 and second seeded Wang Yihan of China for a place in the semi-finals.
Prior to this, Srikanth Kedambi, India's only male shuttler in singles event, won against world No. 5 Jan Jorgensen of Denmark to enter the quarter-finals. Srikanth, who is ranked 11, beat the higher ranked Danish in tight games 21-19, 21-19 within 42-minute contest, keeping his chance to win a medal for the country alive.
The win makes Srikanth the second Indian male shuttler to enter quarterfinals after Parupalli Kashyap, who achieved the feat in London 2012. Srikanth will now need to beat China's Lin Dan, two-time Olympic champion, to secure a place in semi-finals.