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Badminton

Malaysia Open: Srikanth upsets Christie, Ashwini-Tanisha advances to 2nd round

Srikanth, who slipped out of the top 20 in BWF world rankings in 2023, showed the door to world no. 5 Jonatan Christie, the reigning French Open winner, in the first round.

Kidambi Srikanth
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Kidambi Srikanth (AP)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 9 Jan 2024 10:26 AM GMT

Kidambi Srikanth made a rollicking start to his campaign in 2024 with a come-from-behind victory over world no. 5 Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in the first round of Malaysia Open, the season-opening BWF Super 1000 tournament, in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. Srikanth won the match 12-21, 21-18, 21-16 in an hour and five minutes.

Srikanth, who failed to make it to a single semifinal on the World Tour and slipped to world rank 24 last year, lost the one-sided opening game 12-21 in their first meeting in around two years.

The former world no. 1 Indian shuttler, however, did not lose tempo as he staged a comeback in the match by drawing level in a closely fought second game. Srikanth won the game 21-18, defying Christie, the reigning French Open winner, a chance of winning the match in straight games.

In the deciding third game, Srikanth held his composure and defeated Christie, who had recently recovered from a left leg injury and thumped the Indonesian player 21-16.

This was, meanwhile, Srikanth's third straight win over Christie. In their previous two meetings in 2022, Srikanth defeated Christie in straight games, including a win at the Thomas Cup.

In women's doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto hammered Francesca Corbett and Allison LEE of the USA 21-13, 21-16 to advance to the second round.

In women's singles, however, Aakarshi Kashyap was no match for Zhang Yi Man of China as she lost 15-21, 15-21.

In men's doubles, MR Arjun, making a comeback from an injury sustained at the Asian Games in October, lost in the first round partnering with Dhruv Kapila. The Indian pair lost to Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee 16-21, 19-21.

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