BWF World Tour finals: PV Sindhu sails into knockout stage

Sindhu defeated Yvonne Li in straight sets 21-10 21-13 to seal the game in just 31 minutes while Srikanth lost to Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

P V Sindhu; Credit: Twitter/@India_AllSports

Two-time Olympic medalist and star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu sailed into the knockout stages of the ongoing BWF World Tour Finals on Thursday along with compatriot Lakshya Sen, while Kidambi Srikanth’s fate hung in the balance after suffering a defeat in his second group match. Sindhu defeated German badminton player Yvonne Li in straight sets 21-10 21-13 to seal the game in just 31 minutes. It was the 26-year-old’s second group stage win in the competition. She had defeated Denmark’s Line Christophersen 21-14 21-16 in her first match.

Sindhu, the only Indian to win the prestigious title in 2018 and finalist a year before, will square off against top seed Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand next in her last group match. The ace Indian shuttler started the match positively as she looked in good rhythm. She was engaging her opponent in short rallies and quickly secured a 5-1 lead before entering the mid-game break with a six-point advantage.

The 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist took the initiative and produced some good returns to trouble her opponent and soon moved to 10 game points with a down-the-line smash. She then won the opening game with a deceptive net shot.

Meanwhile Li produced a much improved performance in the second game but Sindhu ensured she had her nose in front as she went into the interval with the score at 11-8. After the restart, Sindhu unleashed some  powerful smashes to earn winners. The Indian grabbed seven match points when Li went wide. Sindhu then sealed the match when Li once again sent the shuttle long.

Srikanth loses to Kunlavut Vitidsarn

Meanwhile Lakshya, who has already booked his place in the semi-finals after two of his opponents, Japan’s Kento Momota and Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke pulled out due to injuries, lost 15-21 14-21 to Olympic champion Victor Axelsen. Following the loss, the 20-year-old finished second in his group.

Earlier, Srikanth lost his second Group B game in the men’s singles event of the ongoing tournament. The world No. 14 who had reached the knockout stage in the 2014 edition, went down 18-21 7-21 against three-time junior world champion Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

Also, Indian doubles duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy pulled out of the ongoing tournament because of an injury problem. The duo will take no further part in the year-ending competition. Therefore, Indonesian pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo were given a walkover. 

Indian women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy too suffered a defeat, as they went down fighting 19-21 20-22 against Bulgaria’s Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva.

Sportslumo Desk

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