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Badminton

Malaysia Masters: Sindhu cruises to pre-quarters, defeats Gilmour

The two-time Olympic medallist made light work of her Scottish opponent to reach pre-quarters. Mixed doubles duo Sumeeth-Sikki also won their match.

Malaysia Masters: Sindhu cruises to pre-quarters, defeats Gilmour
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PV Sindhu made light work of her opponent Kirsty Gilmour in the first round of the Malaysian Masters in Kuala Lumpur on May 22, 2024. (File Photo: Badminton Photo/BWF)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 22 May 2024 1:03 PM GMT

Star Indian shuttler Sindhu is back in action after giving the Uber Cup a miss earlier this month. Sindhu kicked off her Malaysia Masters campaign with a convincing victory over her Scottish opponent Kirsty Gilmour and advanced to the pre-quarterfinals in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

As Sindhu chooses her tournaments wisely in the run-up to the Paris Olympics, she began her Malaysia Masters campaign with a comfortable straight-game (21-17, 21-16) win over Gilmour.

This was Sindhu's 450th career win in women's singles. The world no. 15 Indian is only the sixth shuttler to achieve that many wins in singles.

Sindhu will play Japanese shuttler Sim Yu-jin in the Round of 16 on Thursday.

Sindhu is looking for her first World Tour since winning the Singapore Open Super 500 in July 2022. This year, her best performance was quarterfinal finishes at the French Open and Madrid Spain Masters.

Later, Ashmita Chaliha moved to the second round with a resounding straight-game (21-17, 21-16) win over Lin Sih Yun of Chinese Taipei. In the pre-quarterfinal, the world no. 53 Indian will face Beiwen Zhang of the US. Zhang beat Chen Su Yu of Chinese Taipei in the first round.

However, in the other two women's singles clashes, Unnati Hooda and Aakarshi Kashyap made first-round exits. While Unnati lost to Gao Fang Jei 13-21, 18-21, Aakarshi went down fighting against Wang Zhi Yi 22-24, 13-21.

In the men's singles first round, Kiran George put up a valiant show to beat Takuma Obayashi of Japan in straight games (21-16, 21-17) in 41 minutes. George's down-the-line and body smash kept Obayashi guessing all through the match. In the second game, George drew level at 16-16 after trailing for most of the game before taking the game and the match.

Krishna-Pratheek, Sumeeth-Sikki advance

In the men's doubles clash between Krishna Prasad Garga-Sai Pratheek and Chinese Taipei's Ming Che Lu-Tang Kai Wei, the Indian duo won 23-21, 21-11. In the Round of 16, Krishna-Pratheek will have their task cut out against the world no. 11 Chinese pairing of He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu.

Meanwhile, the mixed doubles pairing of B Sumeeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy overcame a tough fight from Hong Kong's Lui Chun Wai and Chi Yan Fu, as they won their first-round clash 21-15, 12-21, 21-17.

Sumeeth and Sikki will face the Malaysian duo Toh Ee Wei and Chen Tang Jie on Thursday in the Round of 16.

However, it was curtains for the Indian mixed doubles pairing of Sathish Kumar Karunakaran and Aadya Variyath. They lost to Dejan Ferdinansyah and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja 21-16, 21-13.

Kiran George in men's singles and Aakarshi Kayshap in women's singles will be in action later today.

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