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Orleans Masters 2021: Kidambi Srikanth stunned in quarters as Tokyo Olympics hopes take a hit


High seed Kidambi Srikanth suffered a shock exit within the quarter-final of the Orleans Masters Tremendous 1000 event on Friday. The World No 14 misplaced to Toma Junior Popov of France, who’s ranked 33 locations beneath on the BWF charts, in straight video games.

Srikanth led 16-12 within the first sport however it all went downhill from thereon for the Indian shuttler, who has been struggling on the tour. Popov wanted simply 41 minutes to outclass Srikanth 21-19, 21-7 within the males’s singles quarter-final.

Fairly a number of unforced errors crept in Srikanth’s sport as he didn’t beat Popov, who had performed a 3-game doubles match earlier within the day.

The quarter-final defeat is a reason for concern for Srikanth who desperately wants huge wins to remain within the race for the Tokyo Olympics. Notably, the Tremendous 100 event in Orleans is a part of the Tokyo Olympics qualification cycle.

Solely the highest 16 gamers and prime 8 pairs on the BWF Race to Tokyo Rankings will make it to the Tokyo Olympics. Nevertheless, berths are restricted to 2 quota locations if greater than two from a specific nation are ranked within the top-16. Srikanth is at the moment on the twentieth spot with Sai Praneeth on the thirteenth spot.

Earlier within the day, Saina Nehwal eked out an exhilarating three-game win over USA’s Iris Wang to advance to the ladies’s singles semifinals.

It’s the first semifinals in two years for World No. 20 Saina, who can also be determined to build up rating factors to make it to her fourth Olympics on the Tokyo Video games. Her final semifinal look was in January 2019 within the Indonesia Masters 500 event which she had received.

The fourth seeded Indian, who had withdrawn from the All England Championships final week resulting from an harm, needed to dug deep to script a 21-19 17-21 21-19 win over world no. 36 Wang in a gruelling quarterfinals match that lasted precisely an hour.

The London Olympic bronze medallist will face both Denmark’s Line Christophersen or compatriot Ira Sharma for a spot within the finals on the Tremendous 100 occasion, which is part of BWF’s revised Olympic qualification occasions.

Ashwini Ponnappa places in a robust present in Orleans

Star doubles participant Ashwini Ponnappa dished out an excellent sport as she first paired up with N Sikki Reddy to notch up a surprising 21-14 21-18 win over England’s third seeded duo of Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith in ladies’s doubles.

Ashwini then mixed with Dhruv Kapila to outwit England’s Max Flynn and Jessica Pugh 21-13 21-18 in blended doubles quarterfinals.

Ashwini and Sikki, world no. 25, will face prime seeded Thailand mixture of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai subsequent in ladies’s doubles.

Ashwini and Dhruv will meet Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund in blended doubles semifinals.

Younger Ira Sharma additionally was no match for Christophersen, taking place 11-21 8-21 in one other ladies’s singles quarterfinals.

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