Kuala Lumpur: Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu couldn’t manage to get the winning start in 2023 as she suffered a loss at the hands of familiar foe Rio 2016 champion Carolina Marin of Spain in the opening round of Malaysia Open Super 1000 badminton tournament.
Coming back to action after a five-month-long injury layoff, Sindhu lost 12-21, 21-10, 15-21 in her first match since the 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medal win.
It was the first meeting between the Rio 2016 finalists since Marin beat Sindhu at the Swiss Open final in 2021.
The Spaniard dominated the opening game right from the start and clinched it easily 21-12. But the Indian ace bounced back in the second game with a healthy 11-5 lead at the time of the interval and quickly raced to 21-10 to force the decider. In the deciding game, Marin restored her momentum and headed into the break with an early lead and wrapped up the match with ease after the change of sides.
On the other hand, HS Prannoy and the world championships bronze medallist men’s pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy sailed into the round of 16.
In men’s singles, Prannoy overcame Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen in three games, 22-24, 21-12, 21-18 in the first round. The men’s doubles pair Satwik and Chirag trounced the world No. 9 Korean combination of Choi Sol Gyu and Kim Won Ho to win 21-16, 21-13.
Earlier, Saina Nehwal went down fighting 12-21, 21-17, 12-21 to Han Yue of China in the first round and Aakarshi Kashyap too suffered defeat in her first round at the hands of Wen Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei 10-21, 8-21.