Badminton, French Open Super 750: Sindhu, Treesa-Gayatri advance to quarter-finals; Srikanth exits

Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu and the Indian women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand advanced into the quarterfinals of the French Open Super 750 badminton tournament in Paris on Thursday.

However, Kidambi Srikanth had to exit the tournament after going down 21-19 12-21 20-22 to China’s Guang Zu in the men’s singles round of 16.

Sindhu, who is participating in her first BWF tour event since returning from a knee injury, put up an impressive performance, to register a three-game victory over USA’s Beiwen Zhang.

After conceding the opening game, the Indian came back strongly to defeat the World No 10 13-21 21-10 21-14, to advance to her first quarterfinal of the season.

Sindhu looked far from her best in the opening game as she trailed 7-11 at the mid-game interval. The American shuttler made the most of her opportunity as she raced to pocket the opening game 21-13.

The Indian, however, returned the favour in the second game, winning it 21-10 without breaking a sweat.

Sindhu carried forward the momentum into the decider as she wrapped up the final game 21-14 as Zhang completely lost the plot.

On Wednesday, Sindhu had defeated Canada’s Michelle Li 20-22, 22-20, 21-19 to qualify for the Round of 16 match. The World No 11 is expected to face either Olympic champion and second seed Chen Yu Fei of China or Denmark’s Line Christophersen in the quarter-final.

Meanwhile, in a match that lasted 78 minutes, former world No 1 Srikanth took the opening game even as the Chinese levelled scores at 19-19. As errors continued to pile up for Srikanth, Lu led 11-7 in the second game and extended it to 17-10 on resumption and eventually sealed the second game to eventually force a decider.

It was another close contest in the third game but eventually, two unforced errors put and end to the Indian’s hopes.

In the third match of the day, Treesa-Gayatri defeated former World No 1 Japanese duo of Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota 21-18 21-13 to move to the quarter-finals.

In the opening game, the Japanese duo displayed a commendable fight to keep things tight even as Hirota played with a knee brace. The Indian duo displayed incredible control to seal it 21-13. The capitalised on the advantage in the second game to win the match in 46 minutes.

The men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will face the Malaysian duo of Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee in a Round of 16 match later in the evening today.

More to follow…

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