P V Sindhu advances to round two of the Malaysia Masters

After a break, two-time Olympic medalist P. V. Sindhu defeated Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour in straight games at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 badminton competition here on Wednesday to advance to the women’s singles second round.

The 45-minute first-round match saw world number 15 Sindhu defeat 22-ranked player Gilmour 21-17, 21-16. Sindhu had missed the Uber Cup and the Thailand Open.

Sim Yu Jin of Korea will be the next opponent for the fifth-seeded Indian, who last won a championship at the 2022 Singapore Open.

World No. 53 B Sumeeth Reddy and World No. 53 N Sikki Reddy qualified to the second round of the mixed doubles competition after defeating Hong Kong qualifiers Lui Chun Wai and Fu Chi Yan 21-15 12-21 21-17 in 47 minutes.

The next challenge for the husband-wife team will be to subdue Malaysia’s top seeds, Chen Tang Jie and Toh Ee Wei.

It was Sindhu’s third victory against Gilmour, a two-time Commonwealth Games medalist.

With a 7-1 advantage quickly established by the 28-year-old Sindhu, Gilmour was able to rally at 14–14 and 15–15. Her prospects of a challenge were short-lived, however, as the Indian won the first game by scoring six of the next eight points.

Sindhu was even more merciless after switching sides, giving almost no chance for her opponent to rally after taking an early 3-0 lead once again. After leading 11-6 at the half, Sindhu continued to gain ground, winning eight match points. Gilmour deserves praise for stopping four match points before Sindhu easily won.

The former world champion Sindhu has lost a lot of close matches since coming back from a knee ailment early this year. She wants to do well tonight in order to gain more self-assurance before the Olympics in Paris.

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