Badminton: Sindhu, Saina move to second round

Manila (Philippines): Top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal won their first round women’s singles matches and moved to the second round at the 2022 Badminton Asia Championships but Lakshya Sen and B Sai Praneeth crashed out of the tournament after losing their respective matches here.

Double Olympic medalist Sindhu was made to work hard by 39th ranked Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei in the opening round match that lasted one hour and 17 minutes.

The Indian ace dropped the opening game and saved a match point in the second before taking the decider and winning the contest by 18-21, 27-25, 21-9 at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.

World No 7 and former world champion Sindhu will now take on Singapore’s Yue Yann Jaslyn Hooi in the next round.

On the other hand, London 2012 bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was also stretched to three games by South Korea’s Sim Yu Jin but the Indian eventually prevailed 21-15, 17-21, 21-13 in 54 minutes.

However, Lakshya Sen, the highest ranked Indian in the men’s singles, was knocked out in the opening round. Sen, who is currently ranked ninth in the badminton world rankings, was beaten 21-12, 10-21, 21-19 by world No 64 Li Shi Feng of China.

Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 Olympian B Sai Praneeth also faced a first-round exit, following a 17-21, 13-21 loss to this year’s Swiss Open winner Jonatan Christie of Indonesia.

Another Indian shuttler Aakarshi Kashyap was knocked out from the women’s singles by reigning world champion Akane Yamaguchi. Aakarshi lost 15-21, 9-21.The women’s doubles pairs of Ashwini Bhat-Shikha Gautam and Simran Sanghi and Ritika Thaker were also ousted in their opening contests.

Image courtesy of (File photo)

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