The Indian shuttlers will look to continue their impressive form at the tournament.
The BWF World Tour finals 2021 has already begun in Bali, Indonesia. Seven Indian shuttlers have qualified for the annual year-ending super 1000 tournament. Some of them took the court for their first group stage encounter on Wednesday. Among them, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were able to register big wins.
It was a perfect start for the double Olympic Medalist PV Sindhu at the World Tour Finals. Notably, she is the only Indian shuttler to win the World Tour Finals in 2018. After being handed a relatively easy draw, Sindhu faced Denmark’s Line Christophersen in her first group match.
Sindhu beat Christophersen in 21-14, 21-16 straight games with her fluent attack and strong defence under 38 minutes. The opening game was a close encounter as the Indian shuttler managed an 11-9 lead at the interval. Later, there was no stopping for the Indian who easily took the first game 21-14 in her favour.
Christophersen tried to change gears in the second game and put up a tough fight to even the score at 13-13. However, Sindhu regained control and won the match in straight games (21-16). She will now face Germany’s Yvonne Li in her next group stage match of the World Tour Finals on Thursday.
Kidambi Srikanth wins first group match, Ashwini-Sikki start with a loss
India’s women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy were up for their maiden performance at the World Tour Finals. They faced the second-seed, Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida of Japan in their opening Group B match.
However, the Indians went down to the Japanese pair and eventually lost the match 14-21, 18-21 in 43 minutes. They will now face Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria in their next group match.
Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth had a blistering start to his campaign. Up against Toma Junior Popov, Srikanth dominated the match with his excellent attack and delicate net play to eventually win his first group stage match 21-14, 21-16 in 42 minutes. The opening game was a close contest till the first half where Srikanth managed to end it with a narrow lead of 11-9. A straight five-point win helped him increase the score gap to 16-10 after which he successfully closed the game in his favour.
In the second game, Srikanth started cautiously and was lagging 1-4 but caught his pace up eventually to take a lead before the interval. Following the interval, there was no stopping for Srikanth as he paved his way to a strong 19-14 lead, giving him four match points which he sealed immediately with the help of his exquisite net play.
Srikanth will now face Thailand’s three-time junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the next men’s Group B match of the World Tour Finals.