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Badminton

French Open 2023: PV Sindhu pulls out due to left knee injury

PV Sindhu won the first game 21-18 against Supanida Katethong. The second game was tied 1-1. It was then Sindhu was seen applying ice on her knee. She sought doctor's help before giving a walkover to Katethong in pre-quarterfinal of French Open Super 750.

PV Sindhu Badminton
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FILE PHOTO: PV Sindhu in action during a BWF event. 

By

Sudipta Biswas

Updated: 26 Oct 2023 4:00 PM GMT

PV Sindhu, on Thursday, pulled out of the French Open Super 750 during her Round of 16 match against world no. 16 Supanida Katethong of Thailand due to visible discomfort in her left knee at the Glaz Arena in Rennes, France.

Sindhu, playing Katethong for the second consecutive week after a straight-game win at the Denmark Open quarterfinal, won the opening game 21-18 displaying her outstanding game awareness.

She deceived Katethong, who was making Sindhu move laterally regularly, with drop shots from the backcourt, smashes and net kills. Sindhu's defence was also impeccable. She retrieved a couple of drifting drop shots played by Katethong from the net.

In the second game, Katethong, however, started with a rampaging smash to win the first point. Sindhu would soon make an amend to draw level with a superb deceptive shot from the backcourt to which Katethong has no chance.

While returning the first shot from Katethong close to the net, Sindhu stretched herself way too much which might have hurt her left knee. In the following stroke, Katethong won her first point with a flat smash into Sindhu's right-hand side. Sindhu, in a submissive manner, did not attempt to retrieve the shuttle.

Sindhu's trouble soon became evident, with her taking a bout magic spray on her left knee and seeking the tournament doctor's help. She then consulted her coach Hafiz Hashim twice. For this, she was even warned of a yellow card by the umpire once.

But Sindhu went to Hashim, seated on the corner of Court 1, again and decided to give a walkover to Katethong, who advanced to the quarterfinal.

'Something wrong in my left knee'

Later, taking to X, Sindhu revealed, "In the first set, I felt something wrong in my left knee but chose to continue to play. However, the pain started to linger. I retired from the game because I felt that retiring was a wise decision to take a closer look at my knee and have my physio examine it."

"I have always taken pride in my career to use minimal medical breaks or injury timeouts. However, I chose to respect my body," she added.

"Please don’t reach out asking for an update as I don’t have any right now," she further wrote.

This was Sindhu's first walkover since she returned to the BWF World Tour in January after recovering from an ankle injury suffered at the Commonwealth Games in August 2022, where she won her last title. Due to her string of poor form and long layoff from the World Tour, she was dropped from the Top 10 of BWF World Rankings for the first time in her career in March this year.

Sindhu has been on a comeback trail since then. Earlier this week, she returned to the Top 10 after nearly six months on the back of her four semifinal finishes - two of them came at the Arctic Open Super 500 and Denmark Open in the last two weeks. Sindhu, however, could not break the semifinal hurdle since she played the Madrid Spain Masters final in March-April, where she lost to Gregoria Mariska Tunjung.

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