French Open 2018: Indian challenge ends after Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty bow out in semi-finals
Commonwealth Games silver medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Sen suffered a straight-game loss to world no 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in the semi-finals of the French Open BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament on Saturday.
Paris: Commonwealth Games silver medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty suffered a straight-game loss to world no 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in the semi-finals of the French Open BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament on Saturday.
World No 25 pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag put a gallant fight in the second game but couldn't stop the two-time All England Champions from Indonesia, going down 12-21 24-26 in a 42-minute match.
The Indian duo had a 0-4 head-to-head record against Marcus and Kevin who have dominated international badminton, winning nine titles last year and claiming six crowns this season, including the Asian Games gold.
Satwik and Chirag's loss brought an end to India's challenge in the tournament as Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and defending champion Kidambi Srikanth had lost their quarterfinals matches on Friday night.
Third seed Sindhu looked a pale shadow of herself as she lost 13-21 16-21 in 40 minutes against seventh seed He Bingjiao of China on Friday night.
It was Sindhu's second consecutive loss at the hands of the Chinese shuttler this year after her straight-game defeat in Indonesia Open in July. By virtue of this win, Bingjiao extended her head-to-head record to 7-5 against the Indian.
Earlier in the day, Saina Nehwal yet again failed to crack the code of top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, losing 20-22 11-21 in another quarterfinal encounter.
To make matters worse for India, fifth seed Srikanth gave a good account of himself but eventually lost steam against top seed Kento Momota of Japan.
Srikanth fought hard in both the games but failed to reach the finishing line, losing 16-21 19-21 to slump to his seventh consecutive and fifth straight loss this year against the Japanese opponent.
Srikanth's last defeat against Momota came in the semi-finals of the Denmark Open last week.
But there was some good news for India in the men's doubles event as the unseeded pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty progressed to the semi-finals after getting the better of compatriots Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy 21-17 21-11.
But a herculean task awaits the duo in the last four round as they are up against top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia.
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