Sindhu, Srikanth lose openers

Bangkok, January 27

Top Indian badminton players PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth fought their hearts out before suffering close defeats in their respective Group B opening matches at the $1.5 million HSBC BWF World Tour Finals here today.

A week after a demoralising defeat at the Thailand Open quarterfinals, world champion Sindhu produced a much-improved performance but still lost to world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan 21-19 12-21 17-21. It was Sindhu’s 16th defeat to Tzu Ying in 21 meetings. “It was a good match, there were no easy points. In the third game I came back and it was just one point difference at one stage. I broke my racquet strings twice (during rallies) and that made a difference,” Sindhu said. “It’s a tough group. I have to give 100 per cent.”

Srikanth beaten

Former world No. 1 one Srikanth too squandered an opening game advantage, losing 21-15 16-21 18-21 to world No. 3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark in a gruelling 77-minute contest.

“I can’t say I’m happy with the way I played today, because I was playing much better in training before I came here,” Srikanth said. “I had my chances today, I could have won from 17-16 in the third. Main motto for me is to play as many matches as possible, because I haven’t been winning matches over the last two years. So, I really want to play matches with the top-eight players.”

Olympics silver medallist Sindhu, who had won the title in 2018, will next play home favourite Ratchanok Intanon, who had handed her a humiliating defeat last week, while Srikanth, ranked 14th, will face fourth seed Wang Tzu Wei of Taiwan on Thursday. — PTI

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