PV Sindhu advances to second round of Malaysia Masters

PV Sindhu’s activities©AFP

Returning from a hiatus, two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu won in straight sets against Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour to reach the second round of the women’s singles at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Sindhu, ranked 15th in the world, who missed the Uber Cup and Thailand Open, beat 22nd-ranked Gilmour 21-17, 21-16 in an opening match that lasted 46 minutes. The fifth-seeded Indian, who last won the Singapore Open in 2022, will next face Shim Yu-jin of South Korea.

Ashmita Chaliha also advanced to the second round of the women’s singles after defeating Chinese Taipei qualifier Shi Yun Lin 21-17, 21-16.

Ashmita will next face third seed Zhang Beiwen of the United States.

However, Unnati Hooda and Aakashruth Kashyap were eliminated in the first round of the women’s singles event, bringing the curtain down on their success.

Hooda lost 13-21, 18-21 to China’s Gao Fan Jie while Kashyap lost 22-24, 13-21 to second seed Wang Zhiyi of China.

In the men’s singles, Kiran George also lost in his first match, losing 16-21, 17-21 to Japan’s Takuma Obayashi.

In the mixed doubles, world number 53 B. Sumeeth Reddy and N. Sikki Reddy also reached the second round after defeating Hong Kong qualifiers Lui Chun Wai and Foo Chee Yeung 21-15, 12-21, 21-17 in 47 minutes.

The husband-and-wife pair will next face the task of beating Malaysia’s top seeds Cheng Tan Jie and Toh Yi Wei.

The pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and K. Sai Prateek defeated Chinese Taipei’s pair of Ming Che Lu and Tang Kai Wei 23-21, 21-11 to reach the second round.

It was Sindhu’s third win over two-time Commonwealth Games medallist Gilmour.

The 28-year-old Sindhu quickly opened up a 7-1 lead before Gilmour fought back to pull level at 14-14 and 15-15, but the Indian won six of the next eight points to take the opening game and end Sindhu’s hopes of a challenge.

After the change of sides, Sindhu was more ruthless and never allowed her opponent to come back after taking another 3-0 lead. Sindhu was 11-6 at the break and continued to lead, earning eight match points. Gilmour deserves credit for fending off four before Sindhu comfortably won the match.

Former world champion Sindhu has suffered a string of close losses since returning from a knee injury earlier this year and will be hoping to perform well here to boost her confidence ahead of the Paris Olympics.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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