French Open Badminton: Indian challenge ends in singles; doubles hopes alive
India's singles challenge in the ongoing French Open Super 750 event ended as the country's top three shuttlers bowed out at the quarter-final stage in Paris. However, India's promising pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty reached their second semi-final at the world tour level in men's doubles.
Earlier Saina Nehwal lost to the World No. 1 and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in straight games. Saina had three game points in the opening game but Tai won the game with five straight points.
Saina seemed to be draining out of energy and was fatigued after the hard-fought victory over former world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the second round, and handed over the match to Tai by 22-20, 21-11 in just 36 minutes.
Defending champion and former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth lost to the reigning world champion and World No. 1 Japan's Kento Momoto, after fighting for 52 minutes in two games, by 21-16, 21-19.
Earlier in the first game, both were playing at 12-all and after that Momoto took the lead and finished the game by 21-16. In the second game, Srikanth took the lead at the crucial stage by 19-17 but failed to convert the opportunities and lost a match by giving four straight points to his arch rival.
After that, all eyes were on the Olympic silver medallist and World No. 2 P.V.Sindhu, But she lost to the former champion He Bingjiao by 21-13, 21-16 in 40 minutes. By her deception and technical superiority, the left-handed He Bingjiao made it difficult for Sindhu to anticipate her shots. Sindhu was not reading her game at all.
But there is some delight for Indian fans that youngsters Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty reached the semi-finals after beating their senior compatriots Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy by 21-17, 21-11. They reached their second semi-final at the world tour stage after reaching semi-finals of the Indonesia Masters earlier this year. They will next come up against the World No. 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia in the semi-finals on Saturday.