A much improved PV Sindhu fought hard before going down against world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei 21-19, 12-21, 17-21 in the first of her three round-robin league matches at the BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok. Kidambi Srikanth also lost his first Group B match after winning the first game against Anders Antonsen of Denmark 21-15, 16-21, 18-21.
After faltering in the last two weeks, Sindhu looked sharp as she gave a tough time to Tai in the 59-minute contest in Group B.
The Indian’s returns were fast and her smashes were powerful and penetrative in the three-game encounter. She matched the pace of Tai and even retrieved many of the net shots effortlessly.
Trailing 17-19 in the first game, Sindhu stunned Tai as she secured four straight points to win the game.
In the second, Sindhu lost momentum after Tai opened up a 6-0 lead. Sindhu played well in the second part of the game but was unable to reduce the huge lead she had conceded.
The third game was much closer and Sindhu followed Tai up to 17-18. But a couple of mistakes at this stage proved costly for Sindhu.
Despite the loss, the Indian is satisfied with her game. Sindhu said that breaking her racket strings twice made the difference. “It was a good match, there were no easy points. In the third game, I came back and it was just one point difference at one stage. I broke my racket strings twice (during rallies) and that made a difference. Otherwise, it was a good game,” Sindhu told the BWF website, adding that she is in a tough group. It’s a tough group. It really depends on that day. I have to give 100 percent,” added Sindhu, who will face Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in a must-win match on Thursday.
Later, Srikanth looked promising as he controlled the game and made some unbelievable retrieves. However, Antonsen raised his game in the second set and was lucky to score the big points towards the end of both sets.
Srikanth said that he was unhappy with his performance. “I can’t say I’m happy with the way I played today, because I was playing much better in training before I came here. I had my chances today. I could have won from 17-16 in the third,” said Srikanth, adding that he wants to focus on winning matches. “The main motto for me is to play as many matches as possible, because I haven’t been winning matches over the last two years. So, I really want to play matches with the top-four, top-eight players,” he added. Srikanth plays Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei on Thursday.
In the women’s singles Group A matches, Carolina Marin of Spain and An Se Young of South Korea registered victory. While Marin made short work of Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 21-19, 21-14, Young defeated Michelle Li of Canada 21-12, 21-17.