China Masters 2023 Results Day 2: Tough day for Indian shuttlers after Srikanth, Sen and Rajawat bow out

Badminton - Commonwealth Games: Day 9
Kidambi Srikanth in action at the Commonwealth Games

The China Masters Super 750 tournament in Shenzhen witnessed some tough defeats for Indian shuttlers on its second day (Wednesday, November 22).

The opening day saw H.S. Prannoy and India's top doubles pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, and Chirag Shetty, progressing to the second round. However, Day 2 presented a formidable set of opponents for Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, Priyanshu Rajawat, Rutaparna, and Swetaparna Panda, resulting in no Indian victories.

One of the most exciting matches of the day was the men’s singles clash between Kidambi Srikanth and Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn. It proved to be a rollercoaster affair. The first set saw the shuttlers go neck and neck till 15-13, but Vitidsarn eventually secured a 21-15 win.

The second set witnessed a reversal, with Srikanth claiming a 21-14 victory after the scores stood level at 10-10. However, the third and final set saw Vitidsarn regroup and clinch a 21-13 win. He sealed the match 21-15, 14-21, 21-13 in a thrilling contest that lasted an hour and two minutes. Vitidsarn now leads the head-to-head battle 4-1.

Another thrilling men’s singles match at the China Masters 2023 saw India's Lakshya Sen engage in a nail-biting encounter with China's Shi Yu Qi. Both shuttlers engaged in some remarkable rallies, winning an equal number of them.

While the Chinese shuttler secured the victory in straight games with a scoreline of 19-21, 18-21, it did no justice to the quality of the match. Despite the defeat, Sen's stellar performance highlighted his prowess on the court, and the match lasted just shy of the hour mark.

India’s third men’s singles representative for the day, Priyanshu Rajawat, faced a tough challenge from Japan's Kenta Nishimoto. He eventually succumbed to a 17-21, 14-21 defeat in a match that lasted 46 minutes.

In the doubles categories, India’s sole women’s doubles shuttlers in the tournament, the Panda sisters, Rutaparna and Swetaparna, faced a tough challenge. They faced China's Zhang S X and Zhengn Yu in the Round of 32. Despite a fight, the Indian pair ultimately succumbed to a 15-21, 9-21 defeat in a match lasting 32 minutes.

Indians in action on Day 3 of the China Masters 2023

Looking ahead to Day 3 of the China Masters, there is anticipation and hope for Indian shuttlers to turn the tide.

HS Prannoy is making a comeback at the China Masters, playing his second tournament post his injury at the Asian Games. He is set to take on Denmark's M. Johannesen in the pre-quarterfinals of the men's singles. This will be the pair's first meeting.

Meanwhile, the duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will face Japan's Akira Koga and Taichi Saito in the last 16 of the men's doubles category. Despite being the higher-ranked pair, Satwik and Chirag have lost their previous encounter against the Japanese shuttlers.

They ended up on the wrong side of a close three-set battle at the Singapore Open earlier this year. The Indian duo will be looking to avenge this defeat.

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