Some Indian shuttlers faced disappointment on Day 2 of the competition.
The Indian badminton players took the court for their second group stage encounters at the ongoing World Tour Finals 2021 in Bali on Thursday. In the first group stage match, PV Sindhu, Srikanth Kidambi, and Lakshya Sen had registered wins for themselves. However, only Sindhu has been able to continue her winning streak in the second group match as well.
Double Olympic medalist Sindhu was the only Indian to win a match on the second day of the World Tour Finals and march into the semi-finals of the tournament. She comfortably sailed past Germany’s Yvonne Li in straight games 21-10, 21-13 in just 31 minutes.
In the opening game, she quickly marched up an 11- 5 lead at the interval, before winning the game 21-10 using her wide range of shots. Sindhu took complete control over the second game as well and did not allow the German to go past her to eventually win the game 21-13.
Further, Lakshya Sen faced defeat against Viktor Axelsen in 46 minutes. The Danish shuttler crushed Sen 21-15, 21-14 in straight games to move into the next round of the World Tour Finals.
Srikanth, Ashwini- Sikki face defeat in their second group match
India’s women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki Reddy faced another defeat in their second Group B match on Thursday. They were defeated by World no. 11 pair, Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria.
They played really well and gave a tough fight but still fell short against the Bulgarians to eventually lose the match 19-21, 20-22 in 53 minutes. With two straight defeats in the group stage, the Indian duo has bowed out of semi-finals contention. They will next face Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith of England in their last group match of the World Tour Finals.
Meanwhile, World No. 14, Srikanth Kidambi went down to 23rd ranked and three-time world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in his second group match. This is Srikanth’s third defeat against Vitidsarn after the Sudirman Cup this year and Asia Team Championships in 2020. Srikanth fell short to Vitidsarn by 18-21, 7-21in a 46-minute encounter. The defeat has jeopardized his chances to make it to the knockout rounds of the tournament.
Srikanth will next face Lee Zii Jia in his last group match on Friday. While second seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia is the group table topper, it will be extremely important for Srikanth to win this match to move into the knockout stage of the World Tour Finals. Since both Srikanth and Vitidsarn share a point each, if both win their last group matches, the group winner will be decided based on the number of games won and lost. Vitidsarn will face Toma Junior Popov who was defeated by Srikanth in the first group match.
Satwik-Chirag retire due to knee pain
India’s men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty decided to pull out of the event, after handing a walkover to World No. 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo due to underlying knee pain. This marked the end of their maiden World Tour Finals. Notably, they were the first-ever men’s doubles pair from India to qualify for the prestigious season-ending tournament.