Madrid Spain Masters 2023: PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth progress to the second round

Indian shuttlers largely had a good day at the Madrid Spain Masters on Wednesday with PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, and Akarshi Kashyap winning their respective matches. The women’s players Sindhu and Akarshi registered straight-set wins with ease while men’s player Srikanth survived a massive scare in the opening round of the Madrid Masters tournament.

Ace Indian badminton player Sindhu defeated Switzerland’s Jenjira Stadelmann 21-10, 21-14 in a 31-minute affair, advancing to the Round of 16 in the Super 300 tournament. Two-time Olympic medalist Sindhu recorded her second win over Stadelmann this month, having beaten the Swiss shuttler at the Swiss Open 2023 recently.

The world no.11 player Sindhu started the opening game well and raced away to a 4-0 lead. The 23-year-old Swiss shuttler, however, found her footing and leveled the game at five apiece, producing a strong cross-court play. The Indian shuttler relied on long rallies to secure the next six points and went into the mid-point break with an advantage of 11-5. Sindhu continued to play with momentum and allowed just five more points to her opponent before clinching the first game 21-10.

In the second game, Stadelmann did not let Sindhu break free and capitalized on the opportunities. But Sindhu finally managed to pull away with a deft cross-court drop shot and an overhead that Stadelmann erred in letting go when the score was level at 9-9. Stadelmann, however, continued to fight and restored parity at 11-11. The Swiss further consolidated and pulled ahead 13-11 via two shots that sent Sindhu to the wrong side of the court.

Close-range play coupled with unforced errors by Stadelmann allowed the top-ranked Indian to mount a fine comeback. A blundered smash from right in front of the net was the final nail in the coffin for Stadelmann as Sindhu pulled away into an 18-13 lead before taking the game 21-14.

Earlier in the men’s singles, Srikanth played a crazy opening round to defeat Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin 21-11, 25-27, 23-21 in a hard-fought opener that lasted over one hour. After taking the opening game 21-11, former world no.1 Srikanth was en route to winning the match in straight sets. However, the 30-year-old Indian lost momentum with the world no.32 Thammasin saving six match points to force a decider.

Srikanth once again had a comfortable lead of 11-5 in the decider but allowed his opponent to secure two match points. Eventually, Srikanth sealed the final game to face compatriot Sai Praneeth in an all-Indian second round at the Madrid Spain Masters.