Saina Nehwal, who won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, lost a lead and withdrew from women’s singles competition on Tuesday on the opening day of Roland Garros 2022. The CWG doubles winners 2022, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, qualified for the second round. with ease.
Saina Nehwal was beaten by Yvonne Li of Germany 21-13, 17-21 and 19-21. Saina Nehwal was the only Indian competing in the women’s singles event at the BWF Super 750 competition since PV Sindhu was injured. World No. 27s Yvonne Li and Saina Nehwal, who just slipped to 33rd in the most recent badminton rankings, started the match on an even streak and were tied at 5-5 before the Indian player takes control with four consecutive points.
Saina Nehwal, who was in complete control, capitalized and won the opener easily. However, it appeared the Indian had run out of steam and Li took the chance to level the game and force a decider. In the third game, both players tried their best to win, and as a result, the lead and momentum was constantly changing as Li and Nehwal alternated periods of dominance.
Nehwal looked like the favorite to win the match with a 19-17 advantage, but Li won the next four points in a row to deny the Olympic medalist. The game lasted 57 minutes. She has lost in the first round of a tournament three times in a row, the most recent being Roland-Garros. Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, the seventh seeds in men’s doubles, beat Christo and Toma Junior Popov 19-21, 21-9, 21-13 to advance to the next round.
The Indian team fell unexpectedly in the opening game, but they made up for it in the next two games to win the game in one hour and eight minutes. Chirag and Satwik will face Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee from Malaysiawho beat Lucas Corvee and Ronan Labar of France in their last match.
Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto of India were eliminated earlier in the day after losing 21-13, 21-16 in back-to-back matches to Kyohei Yamashita and Naru Shinoya of Japan. The women’s doubles tournament also saw the early release of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand. In a game where the margins were slim, the Indian team fought a brave battle against Thailand‘s Rawinda Prajongjai and Jongkolphan Kititharakul but ultimately fell short by scores of 23-21 and 22-20.
Wednesday, Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth India will face off in the first men’s singles match of their respective campaigns. Meanwhile, Malaysian Liew Daren will face HS Prannoy.
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