The BWF Malaysia Masters, a world tour super 500 event, is being played between January 7th and January 12th, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2019 wasn't a great year for Indian badminton except for the time when PV Sindhu became world champion. Indian players were expected to put up a good show from the start of 2020 season so as confirm their qualification for Tokyo Olympics. However, results from Malaysia Masters suggest a completely different story than what was expected from the Indian players and their coaches.
On the first day of Malaysia Masters, various qualification and first-round matches were played.
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in their first-round match were up against the World No.19 Malaysian duo of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi. It was the first time both these duos met on the international circuit.
The Indian pair lost the match 15-21, 21-18, 15-21 in 56 minutes. This first-round loss can prove costly in accomplishment of their Olympics dreams as April 26th is the cut-off date for the Olympics qualification. Apart from this, Indian women's doubles duo of Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh lost their qualification match against the Indonesian duo of Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti and Ribka Sugiarto 21-15, 21-10 in exactly half an hour.
In the men's singles, Lakshya Sen and Subhankar Dey both lost their qualification matches. Lakshya had won six titles in 2019 (three super 100 and three international events) and also reached a career-high ranking of World No.32.
However, in the qualification round, he was up against veteran Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark. Lakshya put a great fight against his experienced opponent but he eventually lost the match 21-11,18-21,14-21 in 49 minutes. On the other hand, Subhankar Dey proved no match against Daren Liew of Malaysia and lost the match by 21-15,21-15 in just thirty-two minutes.
Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and other Indians playing in this tournament will be seen in action on 8th of January.Published 07 Jan 2020, 22:58 IST