Follow Us:
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

World Tour Finals: Sindhu, Srikanth make winning start; Lakshya also through

Sindhu looked in great control as she opened up a 5-2 lead and though Line made it 7-6, the Indian quickly reeled off 10 straight points to march to 16-8 and seal the opening game comfortably.

By: PTI |
Updated: December 1, 2021 8:59:05 pm
BadmintonTwo-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and former world number 1 Kidambi Srikanth. (File)

Top Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth registered straight-game victories to make impressive starts to their respective singles campaigns at the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals here on Wednesday.

Young Lakshya Sen also won his first match of Group A after world number two Kento Momota of Japan retired injured when the scoreline was 1-1 in the first game.

Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, saw off Denmark’s Line Christophersen 21-14 21-16 in a lop-sided Group A contest after former world number 1 Srikanth beat France’s Toma Junior Popov 21-14 21-16 in 42 minutes in his opening match of Group B.

The reigning world champion, the only Indian to win the year-ending tournament in 2018, will meet Germany’s Yvonne Li next.

Srikanth, who had reached the knockout stage of the 2014 edition, will next face Thailand’s three-time junior world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

The women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, however, lost 14-21 18-21 to second-seeded Japanese combination of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida in their opening Group B match.

Also starting with a loss was the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, beaten 16-21 5-21 by the Danish combination of Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen in a Group A clash.

Sindhu looked in great control as she opened up a 5-2 lead and though Line made it 7-6, the Indian quickly reeled off 10 straight points to march to 16-8 and seal the opening game comfortably.

After the change of sides, Line put up a slightly better show as she led briefly at 4-2 before Sindhu grabbed a slender 11-10 advantage at the interval. After resumption, Sindhu zoomed to 17-13, and soon, shut the door on her opponent.

Srikanth also displayed a compact game. He was alert and agile on the court and found points with his attacks against the world number 33 Frenchman.

The opening game was a tight affair in the initial part with the duo fighting tooth and nail.

Srikanth managed to eke out a slender 11-9 lead at the break and then came out with five straight points to move ahead to 16-10 and soon closed out the game.

In the second game, Srikanth lagged 1-4 initially but he soon recovered to once again grab a two-point advantage at the interval.

Just like the first game, he made his way to a healthy 14-9 lead before moving to 19-14. A long shot from his opponent gave Srikanth four match points and he sealed it with some superb net play.

Sindhu gets first round bye in World C’ships, Tai Tzu in line in quarters

Sindhu has got a first round bye and faces the prospect of coming up against Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying and former world number one Carolina Marin in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively of the World Badminton Championships here.

Sindhu, who won a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics, has been seeded sixth in the December 12-19 showpiece event.

Sindhu faces the winner of Martina Repiska of Slovenia and Ruselli Hartawan of Indonesia in the second round. If she clears the third round, Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu, who had beaten her in the Tokyo Olympics semifinals, will be awaiting her in the quarterfinals.

If she Sindhu gets past Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu, she could be up against Marin who had beaten her in the 2016 Rio Olympics summit clash.

Marin returns from injury straight into the World Championships and she will be playing in an arena named after her.

In men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth, seeded 12th, will open his campaign against local player Pablo Abian and has the prospect of facing compatriot B Sai Praneeth (seeded 14th) in the quarterfinals, if both are able to reach that stage.

Young Lakshya Sen has also been drawn in the same half as his two senior compatriots and faces Max Weisskirchen of Germany in the opening round. He can be up against Momota in the quarterfinals if the Indian reaches there.

In the men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have been seeded eighth and handed a first round bye. Three other Indian pairs — Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, and Arun George and Sanyam Shukla are also in the fray.

In women’s doubles, the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will face the French duo of Delphine Delrue and Lea Palermo in the first round.

Two other Indian pairs — Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh, and Maneesha K and Rutaparna Panda — are also in the fray.

In mixed doubles, three Indian pairs — Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh, MR Arjun and Maneesha K and Utkarsh Arora and Karishma Wadkar — are in the fray. PTI PDS

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard