French Open: Sindhu, Srikanth advance to second round, Prannoy bows out (ld)

March 6, 2024
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Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu made a winning return to the BWF circuit in an 80-minute marathon match against Michelle Li and defeated her 20-22, 22-20

Paris, March 6 (IANS) Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu made a winning return to the BWF circuit in an 80-minute marathon match against Michelle Li and defeated her 20-22, 22-20, 21-19 in three games in the first round of the French Open Super 750 tournament on Wednesday.

Li, with her sharp attacks and precise shots, posed a formidable challenge for Sindhu, dominating the first game (22-20) and appearing poised for victory. But Sindhu, spurred on by the guidance of legendary coaches Prakash Padukone and Agus Dwi Santoso, dug deep and found the reserves of strength within her.

In a stunning display of skill and strategy, Sindhu staged a remarkable comeback (22-20), turning the tide of the match in her favor with a series of breathtaking shots and expertly executed maneuvers.

In the decisive moments of the third game, Sindhu’s determination proved unwavering as she seized control, inching closer to victory with each precise shot and well-placed smash. With the match hanging in the balance, she summoned her last reserves of energy and resolve, delivering the final blow that secured her triumphant return (21-19) to the BWF circuit.

Earlier, Indian men’s badminton ace Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the men’s singles second round with a stunning three-game 21-15, 20-22, 21-8 victory over Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen.

Facing off against the 14th-ranked Chen, Srikanth showcased his prowess with a masterful display of shot-making and strategic play. Despite facing stiff competition from his opponent, Srikanth remained composed, mounting a comeback from an early deficit to clinch a hard-fought victory. With this triumph, Srikanth notched his third win over Chen in seven meetings, reaffirming his status as a formidable contender on the international badminton circuit.

Looking ahead to his next challenge, Srikanth is set to square off against China’s Lu Guang Zu, the world number 17, in what promises to be another thrilling showdown.

However, it was a different story for fellow Indian shuttler HS Prannoy, who suffered an early exit from the tournament following a defeat at the hands of Lu Guang Zu with a scoreline of 17-21, 17-21. Despite a strong start and a valiant effort on the court, Prannoy was unable to maintain his momentum, ultimately succumbing to his opponent’s relentless pressure.

–IANS

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