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Sindhu Prannoy Enters Second Round, Lakshya Loses in Singapore Open

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By PTI

Published : May 29, 2024, 4:09 PM IST

Updated : May 29, 2024, 7:47 PM IST

PV Sindhu has entered the second round of the Singapore Open by beating Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark while Lakshya Sen suffered a loss against Viktor Axelsen.

Singapore Open 2024
File Photo: PV Sindhu (BWF)

Singapore: Former champion PV Sindhu progressed to the women's singles second round but Lakshya Sen went down fighting to world number one Viktor Axelsen at the Singapore Open Super 750 badminton tournament here on Wednesday. Sindhu had last won a BWF title at Singapore two years back and she entered the tournament after signing off with a runner-up finish at Thailand Open last week.

Up against world no. 21 Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark, the Indian registered a 21-12 22-20 win in a 44-minute opening round to set up a mouth-watering battle against Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain. World No. 3 Marin has an overwhelming 11-5 record against the Indians. The last time the two clashed, it turned out to be an ill-tempered match at Denmark Open which saw both players receiving yellow cards for verbal exchanges.

World No. 10 Prannoy then quelled a spirited challenge from Julien Carraggi, ranked 45, of Belgium 21-9 18-21 21-9 to set up a meeting with Japan's Kenta Nishimoto next.

World no. 14 Lakshya, who will be making his Olympic debut at the Paris Games, fought hard but lost steam after the change of ends in the decider to go down 13-21 21-16 13-21 in 62 minutes against Axelsen, who won his first title of the season at Thailand Open last week. Kidambi Srikanth's opening round match ended in agony as he retired after lagging 14-21 3-11 against Japan's fifth seed Kodai Naraoka.

In other results, B Sumeeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy lost 18-21 19-21 to Malaysia's Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie in mixed doubles, while Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan lost 8-21 8-21 against Mads Vestergaard and Christine Busch in another match.

Sindhu held a 3-0 head-to-head count against Line but things started on an even note as the two were tied 8-8 at one stage before the Indian grabbed a two-point advantage at the break with a fine drop shot. The Indian moved to 16-11 with some quick points as Line made too many unforced errors during the testing rallies. Sindhu soon held eight game points and converted it with a straight return.

After the change of sides, Sindhu continued the momentum to open up a 5-1 lead before taking an 11-7 cushion at the interval, with Line finding the net. However, the Dane slowly clawed back at 14-14 and stood four points away from taking the match to the decider, but Sindhu stepped up the pace in time to dash her hopes as she reeled off six straight points to seal the win.

Lakshya looked a tad sluggish as he fell behind 1-4 against Axelsen, who rode on his attack to dominate the rallies. The Indian struggled with his length and also his defence lay in tatters against the Dane, who grabbed a massive 11-3 lead at the break. Axelsen soon took 10 game points and though Lakshya saved three of them, he missed a net shot to hand the opening game to the Dane.

Lakshya showed better initiative in the second game as he tried to close out the net and go for attacking returns at the backline. He drew parity at 9-9 after being 6-9 at one stage. The momentum shifted after the interval with Lakshya stepping up as he grabbed a 14-12 lead.

The Indian's smashes started finding their mark as he moved to 18-14. The Dane seemed a bit frustrated and made poor judgements as Lakshya grabbed five-game points and roared back into the match with a superb net dribble. Lakshya dominated the front court battle to open up a 6-3 lead. The Dane clawed back at 7-7 as he started to dominate the net now. Two miscued lifts and a wide push handed Axelsen a one-point advantage at the interval.

All fell apart after the resumption as Axelsen grabbed 8 off the next 9 points to move to 19-11 and then grabbed eight match points with a smash. Axelsen closed out the match with a body return.

Read More

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  2. Sindhu One Step Away From Malaysia Masters Title
Last Updated : May 29, 2024, 7:47 PM IST
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