French Open Badminton: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth exit; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty win
India’s singles campaign came to an end on a highly disappointing Day 4 of the French Open 2018 in Paris. None of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and Kidambi Srikanth managed to take even a game off their respective opponents as the quarter-final action came to a close at this Super 750 tournament on Friday. The only saving grace of the day was the win for Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in an all-Indian men’s doubles quarter-final.
Nehwal had chances to take a game off the top seed and World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying as they met for the second time in a week following the Denmark Open final last Sunday. Nehwal made a very bright start and led the Chinese Taipei star for the major part of the opening game and even had three game points in hand at 20-17.
But she failed to convert any of those as the World No. 1 came storming back to bag five points on the trot and take the opener 22-20. The second game was mostly a walk in the park for the planet’s best shuttler before she completed the 22-20, 21-11 win in 36 minutes.
Defending men’s singles champion Kidambi Srikanth too squandered chances in the second game in his quarter-final clash with the World No. 1 Kento Momota. This was the fifth meeting between the two this year and their second in a week after their Denmark Open semi-final encounter.
Having fallen behind 10-17, Srikanth found his rhythm in the late stages of the second game to take nine points in a row and lead 19-17. Right at that juncture, unforced errors reared their ugly head and Srikanth could do nothing to prevent Momota from securing a 21-16, 21-19 win in 52 minutes.
Third seed and World No. 2 PV Sindhu made a tame 13-21, 16-21 surrender to the seventh seeded He Bingjiao in the last match of the day.
Earlier in the day, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy 17-21, 11-21 in a rare all-Indian quarter-final match. They are now the last Indians standing at this prestigious tournament.
Up next for the young pair is the irrepressible World No. 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.