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Sindhu, Saina exit; Satwik-Chirag in French Open SF

Last updated on: October 26, 2019 15:48 IST

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in action against the world No 8 Danish pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen at the French Open on Friday.

IMAGE: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, right, and Chirag Shetty in action against the world No 8 Danish pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen at the French Open on Friday. Photograph: BAI/Twitter

The men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty continued their impressive run, progressing to the semi-finals with another stunning victory, but it was curtains for PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal at the US $700,000 French Open, in Paris, on Friday.


The Indian duo, which won their maiden Super 500 title at the Thailand Open in August, shocked the world No 8 Danish pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-13, 22-20 in a thrilling quarter-final that lasted 39 minutes.

World champion Sindhu went down in a hardfought battle against World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying of 21-16, 24-26, 21-17 in an hour and 15 minutes in the quarter-final match, while Saina  lost 20-22, 21-23 to world No 16 Korea's AN se Young in 49 minutes.

This the 10th time Sindhu had lost to Tzu Ying, who now enjoys a dominant 10-5 record over the Indian.

Sindhu had last defeated the Asian Games gold medallist on the way to her maiden World Championship title in August. The 24-year-old Indian had also got the better of Tzu Ying during 2016 Olympics before knocking out the number one women's singles player in the World Tour Finals last year.

This was also world number six, Sindhu's fourth successive early exit from a tournament since winning the World Championships in August. The Indian has struggled to find form since then.

The Olympic silver medallist made a first round exit in the Korea Open last month before crashing out in the second round of the Korea Open and Denmark Open in the last two events

Satwik and Chirag will now take on either the Japanese fifth seeds Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe or third seeded Chinese combination of Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen.

Satwik and Chirag were clearly the dominant pair on the court as they combined well and put their opponents under pressure.

They moved to a 5-2 lead early on and kept extending the advantage after grabbing a 11-6 cushion at the break. The Danish pair tried to reduce the gap but Satwik and Chirag ensured there was no hiccups as they pocketed the opening game.

Kim and Anders put up a better show in the second, opening up a 4-0 lead early on, but the Indian pair caught up at 9-9 and then surged ahead to 16-12.

The Danish pair again made a comeback to draw parity at 16-16 and moved neck and neck to 20-20 before Chirag sealed the contest with a precise serve.

Saina Nehwal

IMAGE: India’s Saina Nehwal lost to Korea's AN se Young in straight games in the women's singles quarter-finals. Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Earlier, a fighting Saina lost to Korea's AN se Young in the women's singles quarter-finals.

The 29-year-old Indian, who won the Indonesia Masters in January, lost 20-22, 21-23 to world No 16 Young in 49 minutes.

It was her first quarter-final appearance since making it to the last eight at the Badminton Asia Championship in April.

Saina had lost in the first round in the last three tournaments at China, Korea and Denmark.

She fell back early in the opening game as Young opened up a 7-2 lead. However, she slowly narrowed the gap to 7-8 and grabbed a slender 15-12 lead. That was only brief as the Korean soon clawed her way back.

Young reached 18-15 but Saina rallied splendidly and snatched game point at 20-19, but the Korean eventually pocketed the game with three straight points.

In the second game, Young again surged to a 5-2 lead before Saina caught up and went ahead 7-5, but the Korean stepped on the gas and took a 16-11 lead.

The experienced Saina again drew parity at 18-18 but Young grabbed two match-points before the Indian reeled off three straight points to make it 21-20.  Young, however, her nerve to move ahead and shut the door on her fancied opponent.

Saina, who had reached the final of the French Open in 2012, will next play at the Saarlorlux Open, starting October 29.

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