Sindhu wins the match, but India loses the opening tie at Sudirman Cup 2019

By: Editor
Date: 21 May, 2019
Image Courtesy: GoBadminton
A solid start, few bumps along the way, a moment of reckoning, then a tough fight and just pipped at the post! India’s first encounter at the Total BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 against Malaysia seemed to be headed for a perfect ending but for a stirring comeback by the Malaysian women’s double team.

The formidable pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa & Sikki Reddy had lost the opening game of the deciding fifth rubber, when they lead 19-15 and on the cusp of leveling things up and forcing a decider for the decider. But Mei Kuan Chow & Meng Yean Lee, upped the ante just when it mattered, putting together a string of six points together to take the game, match and tie.

Ashwini Ponnappa, playing her second match of the day, was left to rue to her chances. She had begun the day on a promising day, courtesy a win in the mixed doubles with Satwik Sairaj. They triumphed in three games 16-21 21-17 24-22, in a thrilling encounter. 

India’s Sudirman Cup 2019 campaign was off to an excellent and Sameer Verma stepped up to play the men’s singles against Lee Zia Jii. Sameer was solid at his game, but Lee was far more efficient on his side of the court, and ensured the tie was tied 1-1 with a clinical victory.

PV Sindhu, the top ranked Indian female player, was penciled in for the women’s singles and she blew away the opposition with a stirring performance. A superlative performance ensured that India took the advantage in the tie courtesy 21-12 21-0 victory against teenager Goh Jin Wei. 

A 2-1 lead in the tie, and two doubles matches to come, the Indians were surely confident of bagging the tie. Manu Attri combined with Sumeeth Reddy for the men’s doubles, they fought hard but succumbed in a closely matched tie 22-20 21-19. They had their moments to win both games but just fell short.

The final game of the crucial opening encounter and the women’s doubles team of Ashwini Ponnappa & Sikki Reddy made a slow start to proceedings. They lost the opening game but came roaring back into contention in the second.

Two points from winning the second game, the ran into a resurgent Malaysian team, who sealed the game and the tie! 

The Indian team will now have a tough encounter against the Chinese tomorrow and will definitely have to bring it home to have any chances of progressing further. Day one at the Sudirman Cup 2019, however, will remain a day of missed opportunities.

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