China Masters 2023: Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth Face Early Exits


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In what was a challenging day for India, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and Priyanshu Rajawat lost in the men’s singles round of 32 at the China Masters 2023 badminton tournament in Shenzhen on Wednesday.

Later, Rutuparna Panda and Swetaparna Panda, the only women’s doubles pair from India, also crashed out in the opening round of the BWF 750 tournament in the People’s Republic of China.

Lakshya Sen and seventh seed Shi Yu Qi of China played out an hour-long thriller which ended 21-19, 21-18 in the Chinese shuttler’s favour. Interestingly, Lakshya had beaten Qi in the men’s team gold medal clash at the Asian Games 2023.

With the defeat, Sen’s poor run of form continued as it was the 22-year-old’s seventh consecutive first-round exit in BWF World Tour competitions.

Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth too went down fighting 15-21, 21-14, 21-15 against the reigning world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in 62 minutes.

After losing the first game, the Indian badminton player bounced back in the second, courtesy of some fantastic combination of net play and accurate smashes to restore parity.

However, Vitidsarn did not let Srikanth take the lead at any point in the decider and won to progress to the second round.

Meanwhile, Priyanshu Rajawat also faced a 21-17, 21-14 loss against Kenta Nishimoto of Japan in 46 minutes.

Rutuparna Panda-Swetaparna Panda’s 15-21, 9-21 loss to third-seeded Chinese pair of Zhang Shu Xian-Zheng Yu in just over half an hour rounded off a disappointing outing for the Indian shuttlers on Day 2 of the tournament.

HS Prannoy in the men’s singles and Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in the men’s doubles are the only Indians remaining in the fray at the China Masters 2023 badminton tournament.

Results at China Masters 2023, a BWF Super 750 event, will count towards players’ qualifying rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The qualification window for badminton started on May 1 this year and will end in April 2024.

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