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French Open 2016: Indian challenge ends with PV Sindhu’s second round loss

831   //    28 Oct 2016, 13:16 IST
PV Sindhu.jpg
Another disappointing campaign for Sindhu

The Indian campaign screeched to a grinding halt at the 2016 French Open Superseries with both PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy crashing out in the second round in Paris on Thursday. The Rio Olympic silver medallist Sindhu squandered two game points in her opening game to lose 20-22, 17-21 to the World No. 11 He Bingjiao of China in 41 minutes.

Right before her loss, HS Prannoy too bowed out with a 19-21, 16-21 defeat to the fifth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in 42 minutes.

Sindhu had beaten Bingjiao just last week

The Chinese had proved to be a tough opponent for Sindhu all year but the Indian did win their most recent showdown just last week in the first round of the Denmark Open Superseries Premier. That raised hopes of an encore of that performance from the Indian.

The sixth-seeded Indian started off well and even began to put pressure on the Chinese half-way through the first game, building an 11-8 lead at the mid-game interval. She maintained it to surge to 15-12 which she extended to 19-17.

Despite some stiff resistance from the Chinese, Sindhu also had a couple of game points at 20-18 but she could never convert them. Bingjiao made an impressive comeback to level the game at 20-20 and then took it, 22-20.

That was a big jolt for the Indian and she clearly lost some of the zeal and fighting spirit after that. Bingjiao asserted herself right from the beginning of the second game and inched ahead 8-5 and subsequently took an 11-6 lead at the interval.

She built on it further to race ahead to 18-11. Just when it looked all over for Sindhu, the double World Championships bronze medallist got a second wind and closed into 17-19.

Her run was cut short as the Chinese grabbed the final two points of the match for the win.

Ajay Jayaram and B Sai Praneeth were the other Indians playing at this tournament both of whom lost in the first round. While Jayaram succumbed to a 22-20, 10-21, 18-21 defeat to Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, Sai Praneeth was shown the door by the 17th ranked Korean Lee Hyun Il, 21-15, 8-21, 19-21.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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