Commonwealth Games 2022 badminton: PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth win as India top mixed team group

India will face South Africa in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Defending champions India eased into the quarter-finals as they floored Australia and Sri Lanka to top Group A of the Commonwealth Games 2022 mixed team badminton event on Saturday.

The badminton events at the CWG 2022 are being held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

India, who were expected to cruise through the group stage on the back of their formidable badminton unit, rotated their players across the two ties on Saturday and fielded different combinations before the knockout stage got underway at Birmingham 2022.

India rested their highest-ranked men’s player Lakshya Sen for the tie against Australia and world championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth opened the proceedings with a straightforward 21-14, 21-13 win over Ying Xiang Lin.

Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu was next to take the court and steamrolled the challenge from world No. 74 Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen to win 21-10, 21-12.

B Sumeeth Reddy replaced Satwiksairaj Rankireddy to partner Chirag Shetty in the men’s doubles match. The duo defeated Tran Hoang Pham and Jack Yu 21-16, 21-19 to help India take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie.

The women’s pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, daughter of Indian legend Pullela Gopichand, was pegged back by Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen and Gronya Somerville as India lost its first match in the group stage 21-13, 21-19.

B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa restored normalcy and beat Ying Xiang Lin and Gronya Somerville 21-14, 21-11 to help India clinch the tie 4-1.

Earlier in the day, India handed Sri Lanka a 5-0 drubbing. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa defeated Sachin Dias and Thilini Hendahewa 21-14, 21-9 to put India into a 1-0 lead.

With PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth rested for the second Group A tie, Lakshya Sen, world No. 10, took the opportunity to get a much-needed game time and beat the three-time Olympian Niluka Karunatne 21-18, 21-5.

Aakarshi Kashyap went past Vidara Suhasni Vidanage 21-3, 21-9 and the makeshift pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and Chirag Shetty beat Dumindu Abeywickrama and Sachin Dias 21-10, 21-13 to make it 4-0.

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand then went past Thilini Hendahewa and Vidara Suhasni 21-18, 21-6 to complete the formalities.

India will face South Africa in the mixed team quarter-finals on Sunday.

The singles and the doubles badminton events at Birmingham 2022 will start on August 3 and will run till August 8.

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