Birmingham, Aug 7: It was a mixed bag day for Indian Badminton in the Commonwealth Games 2022 as PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen entered their respective singles final but Kidambi Srikanth suffered a shock defeat in his semi-final game on Sunday (August 7). The women's doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand lost their semis game while Satwik Sairaj Renkyreddy and Chirag Shetty stormed into the finals in dominant fashion.
Kidambi Srikanth - who lost his semi-final match - became the first shuttler from India to win a medal in Birmingham after winning the bronze medal match. Srikanth defeated Jia Heng Teh of Singapore 21-15, 21-18 in straight sets and finished on the podium.
Sindhu in second CWG Final
Sindhu, the double Olympic medallist, stayed on course for an elusive gold medal after progressing to her second successive women's singles final. The 27-year-old Indian rode on her superior technical superiority to outwit Singapore's Yeo Jia Min 21-19 21-17 in a 49-minute contest.
The former world champion, Sindhu, who has a silver and a bronze from the 2018 and 2014 editions, was clearly the better player on display as she kept a firm grip on the match.
Sindhu seemed a bit restricted in her movement with the achilles of her left leg strapped. The Singaporean played some good-looking shots to make it 8-4 early on but she was callous to allow the Indian to draw level.
Sindhu entered the break with a two-point lead after producing a straight drop. The Indian depended on her technical acumen, producing the right shots at the right time to keep moving ahead.
The Indian depended on her technical acumen, producing the right shots at the right time to keep moving ahead. Yeo Jia Min was too erratic to put any pressure on the Indian, who moved to 19-12 with a perfect net shot. The Singaporean used her cross-court slices to trouble the Indian, making her move diagonally to reduce the gap to 16-19. But a forehand return going to net from her gave Sindhu three game points, and she converted it on the third attempt. Yeo made a good start once again after the change of ends, but Sindhu reeled off five straight points to again draw parity.
It turned into a seesaw battle after that with the two playing some intense rallies, but Sindhu ensured she had her nose ahead at the interval as she unleashed a straight-down-the-line smash. A wide return and one going to net put Sindhu two points away from the final. Then Yeo going long gave Sindhu five match points. She squandered two before unleashing a pitch-perfect body smash to secure her place in the final.
Top-seed Lakshya prevails
In the first men's singles semi-final contest, Sen, the world number 10, lost his way after a dominating start against 87-ranked Jia Heng Teh of Singapore. He, however, recovered to complete a 21-10, 18-21, 21-16 win and entered his maiden final in debut CWG games.
The 20-year-old relies on relentless attack to put his opponent on the back foot and he was able to do just that in the first game. A couple of forehand smashes on the Singaporean's right helped him take a 1-0 lead in the match.
The momentum shifted towards Jia in the second game as he slowed the pace. A drop shot followed by a backhand winner made it 8-8 before he went into the interval with a 9-11 advantage. A slew of unforced errors from Sen saw Jia take the next five points to make it 9-16. Sen tried to hang in the game but after the Singaporean took a shoe change break at 15-18, he was able to level the match when the young Indian hit a forehand long. Sen built an 11-7 lead in the decider, though Jia made the Indian work hard for every point. The Singaporean was also given the last warning for the delay in between points.
Sen got four points and converted the first one with a deft drop shot that set up a backhand winner. "I didn't get in the rhythm in the second but I managed to pull it off in the end. The crowd support also helped a lot in the first game," said Sen.
Srikanth loses in second semi-final
After winning the opening game, Srikanth went down 21-13, 19-21, 10-21 to Malaysia's NG Tze Yong. Despite winning the first game, Srikanth couldn't capitalise upon the start and ended up losing the next two games. Yong will now meet India's Lakshya Sen, who won the other semifinal.
Treesa-Gayatri go down
India's hopes of a gold medal in the women's category were dashed as the young pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand lost to Malaysia's WR 11 pair of Tan Koong Le Pearly and Thinaah Muralitharan by 13-21, 16-21. The WR 38 Indian duo will now be in action later tonight in the Bronze medal match against Australia.
India's men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy defeated Peng Soon Chan and Kian Meng Tan of Malaysia in straight games and entered the finals in a dominant fashion. The world number 6 pair dominated the match from the start but also showed they were a class apart in the game.