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Asia C'ships: Sindhu advances; Lakshya, Srikanth exit

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 10, 2024 20:33 IST
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P V Sindhu

IMAGE: P V Sindhu was taken the distance by world No. 33 Goh Jin Wei of Malaysia before making the second round of the Badminton Asia Championships, in Ningbo, China, on Wednesday. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Double Olympics medallist PV Sindhu survived some tense moments before progressing to the women's singles second round, but it was curtains for Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth in the men's singles at the Badminton Asia Championships, in Ningbo, China, on Wednesday.

Sindhu, who is desperately trying to rediscover her form ahead of the Paris Olympics, almost blew away a five-point lead in the decider before scoring an 18-21, 21-14, 21-19 victory over world No. 33 Goh Jin Wei of Malaysia.


Sindhu had lost to the Malaysian the last time they meet in the Sudirman Cup though the Indian has a 4-1 record against her.

Next up for Sindhu is China's Han Yue, against whom she a 5-0 record.

It was, however, a difficult day for Olympics-bound Sen, who lost 19-21, 15-21 to local favourite and top seed Shi Yu Qi, and Srikanth, who was beaten 14-21, 13-21 by Indonesia's Anthony Ginting in the opening round.

Talented Priyanshu Rajawat also crashed out in the men's singles opening round.

Rajawat was no match for eighth-seeded Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, losing 9-21, 13-21 in 39 minutes.

It was also curtains for the Panda sisters -- Rutuparna and Swetaparna – hey lost 8-21, 13-21 to seventh seeds Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu W of China.

MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila too was left heartbroken after losing 21-23, 21-19, 24-26 to the seventh seeded Chinese pair of Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi.

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand too went down, beaten 2-21, 11-21 by fourth seeded Liu Sheng Shu and Tan Ning in the women's doubles opener and dashing their faint Paris Olympics qualification hopes.

Malvika Bansod and Aakarshi Kashyap too faltered at the opening hurdle, losing to Korea's Sim Yu Jin and Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan respectively.

Sindhu vs Jin Wei

The continental championship provides a chance to Sindhu, who is on a comeback trail after recovering from an injury, to test her wares against some of the world's best shuttlers. The Indian dug deep after losing the opening game. She fought her way back into the contest and kept herself afloat despite lagging from the start in the decider, before turning the tables to move to five match points.

But she suffered a meltdown, squandering four match-points before her opponent found the net.

The two were neck-and-neck at the start before Sindhu committed three judgement errors at the backline and then sprayed one wide as Jin Wei took a slender 11-9 lead at the break.

The Indian played some fine cross-court returns and also looked to add variation from the back but committed too many unforced errors. A low return from front court went wide to hand five game points to Jin Wei.

Sindhu sent one to the corner and then unleashed an over-the-head drop to stay afloat before floating one out.

She made an attacking start after the change of sides, leading 4-1. But unforced errors again came back to haunt her as she hit long twice and found the net two times to allow Jin Wei make it 5-5. The Indian, however, managed to take a two-point cushion at the interval with a smash

She faltered a few times and soon the score was 13-13. Sindhu soon came out with a flurry of smashes to grab six game points and sealed it with a forehand hand drive.

In the decider, Sindhu gave away a 1-5 lead at the start but she slowly started finding her mark again and moved to 5-7 with a superlative cross-court smash.

Jin tried to make Sindhu run to the forehand corner and then catch her at the net and it worked for some time before the Indian wriggled out with her attacking returns.

A net error from Sindhu gave a two-point cushion to the Malaysian at the interval but the Indian clawed back from 10-13 down with three points as Jin netted one and sent the shuttle wide next.

Sindhu took the lead when Jin Wei sent a cross-court return wide. Errors crept into the Malaysian's game as she found the net or sprayed wide, allowing Sindhu to move to 17-14.

A couple of brutal smashes put Sindhu just two points away as she soon pocketed five match-points with another precise return at the back. Just then, Jin Wei found the line twice with her returns and Sindhu too sprayed into the net as four points evaporated.

But when Jin Wei sent her backhand drive to net after another rally Sindhu was relieved.

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