French Open 2019: PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal crash out in the quarterfinals
The Indian challenge ended in women’s singles as Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu lost in the quarterfinals of the Super 750 French Open.
Nehwal went down fighting to 17-year-old An Se Young of South Korea in a 49 minute thrilling contest at 20-22, 21-23.
In the first game, Saina started off slowly as Young took a 7-2 lead. The Indian clawed back into the match reducing the gap to 7-8. The Korean had slender 11-10 lead at the interval.
After the interval, the Indian played with aggression and made life tough for the young Korean to take a 15-12 lead for a brief period, but the Korean fought back strongly. Young reached 18-15 but Saina showed great fighting spirit to grab a game point at 20-19, but eventually the Korean took three points in succession to take the first set 22-20.
In the second game, Young again raced towards a 5-2 lead before Saina showed her class, to lead at 7-5. At the interval, the Korean had slender 11-10 lead but Young increased her tempo and raced towards a 16-11 lead. The experienced Saina came back to level the scores at 18-18, but Young took two points to earn match points.
The Indian took three points in succession to make 21-20 but Young held her nerves to win the second set and the match.
PV Sindhu went down fighting to World number 1, Tai Tzu Ying ,of Chinese Taipei in three gruelling games - 16-21, 26-24, 17-21.
In the first game, Tai started off to a great fashion taking a commanding lead. Sindhu never gave up and leveled the scores at 6-6. Both players fought for each point as Tai had a slender 11-10 lead at the interval. Tai showed her precision with drop shots and smashes, which rattled Sindhu, to win the first set at 21-16.
Sindhu had a flying start in the second game as she took a 5-1 lead. Tai showed great fighting spirit to put the Indian under immense pressure. Both players fought for each point with long rallies and this time too, Tai had a slim 11-10 lead at the interval.
The fight for each point continued as Tai had a match point. Sindhu saved one and the match went down the wire, but this time the Indian held her nerves to win it 26-24 and force the match into a decider.
In the deciding game, both players fought on an even keel to level the scores at 4-4. Tai played with precision and made life tough for Sindhu. At the interval, Chinese Taipei player led 11-7.
After the interval, there were long rallies as Tai was struggling with her back. Sindhu committed lot of mistakes and lost the third set at 17-21.
The men’s doubles pair of Sathwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty continued their brilliant form as they shocked World Number 8, Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in two straight game - 21-13, 22-20.
In the first game, the Indian duo had a great start moving to a 5-2 lead and continued their lead to 11-6 at the interval. The Danish pair tried to make a comeback but Chirag and Rankireddy ensured that there were no hurdles to win the first set easily at 21-13.
The Danish pair had an improved start to the second game as they took a 4-0 lead, but the Indian pair fought back strongly to level the scores at 9-9. Chirag and Satwik had a small 11-10 lead at the interval.
The Indian pair then played with aggression, making the score, 16-12. The Danish pair again made a comeback to level the scores at 16-16 and then 20-20. Chirag delivered a precise serve to the seal the contest for Indians. They will take on Hiroyouki Endo and Yuta Watanabe of Japan in the semi-finals today.
There was a big upset in the men’s as World number 1 Kento Momota was knocked out in the quarterfinals by Anthony Gingting in two straight sets at 10-21, 19-21.
Cover image credits: India Today