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Sindhu wins, Srikanth sinks in Dubai Super Series Final opener

Dubai: Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu made a positive start to her campaign in women's singles but Kidambi Srikanth suffered a straight game loss on the opening day of the $1 million Dubai Super Series Final, here on Thursday.

The 22-year-old Sindhu, who had a 4-5 head-to-head record against World No. 9 He Bingjiao, dished out a gritty performance to overcome the left-handed Chinese 21-11 16-21 21-18 in a Group A match that lasted an hour and four minutes. World No. 4 Srikanth, however, couldn't bring out his top game as he suffered a 13-21 17-21 loss to World No. 1 and defending champion Viktor Axelsen in a Group B men's singles match that lasted just 38 minutes. Sindhu faces Japan's Sayaka Sato next, while Srikanth will take on Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen. Playing an opponent she has faced twice this year, Sindhu showed good defence as she engaged her rival in rallies by putting the shuttle in awkward positions and tried to close out the points.
Sindhu showed immaculate defence to counter Bingjiao's strokes and pushed the Chinese to commit errors. The Indian led 10-6 when the Chinese produced a cross court return but she hit the net next as Sindhu held the advantage at the break.
Sindhu continued to dominate the proceedings after the break, moving 17-8 ahead when Bingjiao committed a judgemental error at the baseline. Sindhu grabbed nine game points when her opponent hit long and closed out the game with a cross court smash.
In the second game, Bingjiao surged to 4-0 lead early on before Sindhu drew parity at 7-7 but the Chinese once again moved ahead to 10-7 when the Indian hit wide.

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