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Badminton World Tour Finals: Srikanth makes winning start, Ashwini-Sikki pair loses

Srikanth, who had reached the knockout stage of the 2014 edition of the year-ending event, beat France's Toma Junior Popov 21-14 21-16 in 42 minutes in his opening match of group B.

Published: 01st December 2021 11:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2021 11:29 AM   |  A+A-

Indian badminton star Srikanth Kidambi (File photo | AP)

By PTI

BALI: Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth secured a straight-game win over France's Toma Junior Popov to make an impressive start to his men's singles campaign at the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals here on Wednesday.

Srikanth, who had reached the knockout stage of the 2014 edition of the year-ending event, beat Popov 21-14 21-16 in 42 minutes in his opening match of group B.

The women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, however, lost 14-21 18-21 to second-seeded Japanese combination of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida in their opening group B match.

Srikanth, a former world no. 1, displayed a compact game. He was alert and agile on the court and found points with his attacks against the world no. 33 Frenchman. The opening game was a tight affair in the initial part with the duo fighting tooth and nail.

Srikanth managed to eke out a slender 11-9 lead at the break and then came out with five straight points to move ahead to 16-10 and soon closed out the game.

In the second game, Srikanth lagged 1-4 initially but he soon recovered to once again grab a two-point advantage at the interval.

Just like the first game, he made his way to a healthy 14-9 lead before moving to 19-14.

A long shot from his opponent gave Srikanth four match points and he sealed it with some superb net play. Srikanth will next face Thailand's three-time junior world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn.



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