Malaysia Masters 2023: PV Sindhu overcame a huge scare in first round, Srikanth sails into second round

Two-time Olympic winner PV Sindhu advanced to the second round of the Malaysia Masters 2023 women’s singles badminton event with a fighting win against Denmark’s Line Christophersen in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Sindhu fought back in the decider and overcame a stiff challenge from world no.33 Christophersen to secure a 21-13, 17-21, 21-18 win in the round of 32 of the BWF Super 500 event at the Axiata Arena. The Indian shuttler, who has been struggling to find consistency this year, took enough time to settle into the match.

Sindhu produced a great start and outplayed her opponent comprehensively after the scores were tied at 5-5 in the first game. Sindhu went into the break with a lead of 11-8 in the opening game, she continued to play with the momentum to maintain the lead and won the opener with ease.

But the Danish shuttler made an excellent comeback in the second game. She fought hard with fine net play and smashes, eventually winning the close-fought second game. Fans witnessed a tough battle between the two in the second game, as at one point the scores were tied at 17-17, but Christophersen executed her plans well to pin the world no.13 player down and force a decider.

In the deciding game, the 27-year-old Indian found herself on the backfoot trailing against her Danish opponent by 13-16. However, the former world champion used all her skills and kept her calm to make a stunning comeback and win the match in one hour and two minutes.

Senior shuttler Sindhu registered her fifth victory over Christophersen in as many matches. Sindhu will next play world no. 28 Aya Ohori of Japan in the round of 16 on May 25, Thursday. Sindhu, who slipped out of the top 10 in badminton rankings, will be hoping to make a great impact in Malaysia. Sindhu has a 10-9 win-loss record in 2023.

Meanwhile, in men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth outclassed Toma Junior Popov of France in the opening round. The 30-year-old Indian made light work of the Frenchman, defeating him in straight games by 21-12, 21-16. Srikanth will be up against 8th seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the round of 16. The young Thai shuttler began the Malaysia Masters with dominant straight games win over Kanta Tsuneyama.

These wins would boost the two Indian star shuttlers as they had a disappointing Sudirman Cup tournament where India failed to go past the group stages.