Sindhu, Shubankar Make Solid Start for India at the French Open 2019

By: Editor
Date: 22 Oct, 2019
Image Courtesy: GoBadminton
PV Sindhu made a winning start to her Yonex French Open Super 750 Championship in Paris, as she overcome Canadian Michelle Li 21-15 21-13 in the opening round of the women’s singles. 

Sindhu is looking to win her first tournament since her BWF Badminton World Championships triumph in August. Since her win in Basel, Sindhu has had a bit of a difficult time on court having exited each of the three tournaments she has played in before the QFs stage. And with the year-end World Tour Finals now less than two weeks away, she will be keen to make deep inroads here in Paris.

In the opening round match-up Sindhu squared off against Michelle Li and made a slow start to allow Michelle Li a 2-5 lead in the opening exchanges. Sindhu, however, stormed back into contention for the opening game with a string of points on the bounce to take the lead from Li at the halfway mark of the opening game. And then pressed home the advantage to take the game with relative ease.

The second game followed a relatively similar pattern with Li, slightly ahead at 8-10 as the halfway mark beckoned. Sindhu, then made her move to take 12 of the next 13 points contested to kill off any chance of a comeback by Li. She closed out the game at 44 minutes with a 21-15 21-13 score line to advance into the second round. 

Sindhu will take on Singaporean Yeo Jia Min with a potential QF lined up against Tai Tzu Ying. Carolina Marin is also in Sindhu’s half of the draw and could be her semi-final opponent. She won her opening round encounter against Cai Yan Yan 21-8 22-24 21-15. The Olympic champion began on an emphatic note taking the opening game within no time, the second game was a much tighter affair with Cai staying on Marin’s coattails all the way till the end and then eventually pipping her at the post to force a decider.

In the final game of the match, Carolina came out all guns blazing, and while her opponent did try to make a match of it, the Spanish sensation won with relative ease in the end to move into the second round. Carolina could meet third seed Nozomi Okuhara in the second round, with a potential QF against Ratchanok Intanon.

In the men’s singles, Subhankar Dey gave the Indian contingent a winning start with a come-from-behind win over Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto. A slow start gave Tommy the initial advantage, as the Indonesian took the opening game. Subhankar made a much better start in the second to take an early lead, which he then converted to take the game and force a decider.

The third game of the match was a much tighter affair but Subhankar had all the momentum and closed out the content 15-21 21-14 21-17 in an hour and 18 minutes. Subhankar will take on another Indonesian Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in the second round match-up on Wednesday with a possible QF clash against Lin Dan, who routed Brice Leverdez in his opening round encounter 21-12 21-9.

Anthony Sinsuka Ginting, Ratchanok Intanon, and Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus were some of the other notable winners in the singles events on Day 1 of the French Open 2019.

There’s plenty of Indian interest coming up on Day 2, with as many as nine matches lined up through the day. Sameer Verma will be first up on court #3 against Kenta Nishimoto in the men’s singles.

Parupalli Kashyap will open India’s challenge on court #2 against Ng Ka Long Angus, followed by mixed doubles action with Satwik Sairaj/Ashwini Ponnappa taking on fourth seeds Seo Seung Jae/Korea Chae Yujung. Sumeeth Reddy/Manu Attri will be up against the British pair Ben Lane/Sean Vendy with Srikanth Kidambi being the sole Indian on the TV court against second seed Chou Tien Chen.

Back on court number #3, Pranav Jerry Chopra/Sikki Reddy will combine together to take on the formidable Adcocks in the mixed doubles. Satwik Sairaj will be back on court for his second match of the day, the men’s doubles with Chirag Shetty, while Sikki & Ashwini will combine for the women’s doubles match-up.

Saina Nehwal will be playing the final match of the evening on court #1 against Cheung Ngan Yi.

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