BWF World Tour Finals: Poor start for India as Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu lose their opening matches
India’s star shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth put up a close fight before suffering narrow defeats in their respective group 'B' openers at the BWF World Tour Finals 2021.
After being forced to withdraw in the middle of the Thailand Open earlier this month after his roommate tested positive for COVID-19, Srikanth returned to action at the World Tour Finals in Spain. He started off well against World No. 3 Anders Antonsen in the opening round as Srikanth took a 4-0 lead in the first game. But some good stroke-play by the second seed Antonsen brought it to level at 13-13. Srikanth then zoomed away with five consecutive points to take the opening game 21-15.
Antonsen dominated the second game right from the start and eventually wrapped it up by 21-16. He continued to lead and sealed the match 21-15, 21-16, 21-18.
Srikanth, apart from former World No. 2 Sindhu, was the only other Indian to have participated in the ongoing edition of the World Tour Finals.
Sindhu, who suffered a disappointing straight games loss at the Thailand Open quarterfinals, produced a much better performance but still did not manage to pull off a win on Wednesday. She lost 21-19, 12-21, 17-21 to World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in her opening round.
"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. It's a tough group. I have to give 100 per cent," Sindhu was quoted, as saying after her loss to the Taiwan player. It was Sindhu's 16th defeat to Tzu Ying in as many as 21 competitive meetings.
Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, who had won the prestigious World Tour Finals title in 2018, will next play home favourite Ratchanok Intanon, who had handed her a humiliating defeat last week in Thailand. Meanwhile, World No. 14 Srikanth will lock horns with fourth seed Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei on Thursday.