It was a disappointing outing for the majority of the Indian shuttlers.
Badminton players from India recently took part in one of the major tournaments on the BWF calendar, Indonesia Masters 2022. Taking place in the city of Jakarta, Indonesia, it had a world-class lineup of the best shuttlers in the world. It was always going to be a tough challenge for the Indian contingent to bag a podium finish. As it turned out, not even one shuttler from the country managed to sail through in their respective categories.
Despite a strong number of participants in singles and doubles brackets, Indian shuttlers came away empty-handed. There were big expectations on the shoulders of two players, in particular, the two-time Olympic medallist P.V. Sindhu and the All England Open medalist Lakshya Sen in Women’s and Men’s Singles respectively. Both made it to the quarter-finals, but that was that.
A mixed bag for P.V. Sindhu and Lakshya Sen
Coming into the Indonesia Masters 2022, P.V. Sindhu was the fourth seed. Naturally, there were hopes of a podium finish as she was a strong favourite. In order to reach the quarters, she beat Line Christophersen of Denmark in the first round by an 18-21, 21-15, 21-11 score. Later, she won against Gregoria Tunjung by 23-21, 20-22, 21-11 to set up a clash with Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.
The fifth-seed Thai shuttler shares a healthy rivalry with the Indian and came away as the winner in the quarter-final. She was a step ahead of Sindhu at all times, securing an easy straight game victory by a 21-12, 21-10 score. From the looks of it, Sindhu was lacking rhythm and the previous games certainly took a toll on her output.
World No. 9 Lakshya Sen was up against World No.4 Chou Tien-Chen of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-final. The 20-year-old is one of the most promising players in the world of badminton today. However, he could not get the better of the more experienced opponent in the quarters, losing the tie by 21-16, 12-21, 21-14 in an hour and four minutes.
Lakshya Sen reached the quarters by beating Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus by 21-10, 21-18 in the opening round. Following up that performance, Sen beat Danish shuttler Rasmus Gemke by a 21-18, 21-15 score to reach the quarter-final. However, the shuttler from Chinese Taipei was too strong for the Indian in the end.
Disappointing performance from the contingent at Indonesia Masters
Apart from Sindhu and Sen, there were several other players from India that had the chance to make a mark. However, they could not utilise their chances. In Men’s and Women’s Singles category, Sameer Verma lost his first-round fixture against Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo by 21-17, 21-15 and Akarshi Kashyap, a qualifier into the main draw lost her first-round match by 21-12, 21-11 to Beiwen Zhang of Malaysia respectively.
Ashwini Ponappa and N. Sikki Reddy lost their opening round fixture in the Women’s Doubles. The Indonesian pair of Meilysa Sari and Rachel Rose beat the Indians by a 21-18, 21-9 score. Over to the Men’s Doubles, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy lost their first round. Indonesian pair of Pramudya Kusumawardana and Yeremia Rambitan won the game by 19-21, 21-11, 21-8.
Adding more misery in doubles, the Indian Mixed Doubles pairing of Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponappa lost early too. They won the qualification round and the first round, but lost the second round fixture to the Chinese pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong.
Many players like Subhankar Dey and Kartikey Gulshan Kumar could not go beyond the qualification stage. Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker lost their opening round fixture in Women’s Doubles as well.