World Tour Finals: Good start for Indian players, Sindhu, Srikanth and Lakshya won

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Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth made a stellar start to the season’s final BWF World Tour Finals here on Wednesday by winning their respective matches in straight games. Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medalist, defeated Denmark’s Laine Kristofferson 21-14, 21-16.

Earlier, Srikanth defeated Toma Junior Popov of France 21-14, 21-16 within 42 minutes of Group B match. Srikanth will next take on three-time junior world champion Kunlavut Vitidasarn of Thailand in the next round. Sindhu, the only Indian to win this tournament, will now face Germany’s Wonne Li. Sindhu won this title in 2018.

Young Lakshya Sen also won his first Group A match when world number two Kento Momota of Japan pulled out of the match after suffering a 1-1 injury in the first game.

In women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, however, went down 21-14, 21-18 to second seeded Japanese pair of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida.

Men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also suffered losses. The Indian pair got the better of Denmark’s Kim Astroup and Anders Rasmussen 21-16, 21-5 in their opening Group A match.

In men’s singles, former world number one Srikkanth displayed a brilliant game to beat the world number 33 player. The first game was close at the start but by the break, Srikanth took an 11-9 lead. After this, scoring five consecutive points made the score 16-10 and quickly won this game.

In the second game, he was trailing 1-4 but came back early to take a two-point lead till the break. The lead was quickly reduced to 14-9 but then the gap narrowed to 19-14.

Srikanth got four match points from Toma’s long shot and won the match with excellent net play. Sindhu took an early lead of 5-2 but the gap soon reduced to 7-6.

Sindhu then won the first game with ten consecutive points. In the second game, Laine did a better job to take a 4-2 lead.

Sindhu took an 11-10 lead at the break. After the break, he took the lead to 17-13 and then did not give any chance to the line.

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