After losing to home favourite Toma Junior Popov in the final of the Orleans Masters 2022 men's singles event in France on Sunday, Mithun Manjunath had to settle for a silver medal. In his maiden BWF final, 79th-ranked Indian shuttler fell 21-11, 21-19 in 50 minutes to the world No. 32 Frenchman.
Mithun Manjunath started the match carefully because the score was level at 6-all after the first few exchanges. The reigning champion, Toma Popov Junior, though, made effective use of his reach and led 11-6 at halftime.
Mithun Manjunath went down 1-0 after failing to match a flurry of smashes from the former junior European champion.
In the second game, Manjunath sought to push Popov to play longer rallies, and it worked.
Manjunath took a 12-6 lead thanks to a slew of unforced errors by the Frenchman. With some fast returns, the French shuttler launched a comeback and successfully defended his BWF Super 100 title.
Mithun Manjunath had a great run in the event up until the final. The unseeded Indian breezed through five matches, including a round-of-16 victory against world No. 22 Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark.
After B Sai Praneeth, the tournament's top seed, was eliminated early in the pre-quarters, Manjunath emerged as India's best chance.
The only other Indian players to reach the semi-finals of the Orleans Masters 2022 were Ashwini Bhat K. and Shikha Gautam in the women's doubles.
Top Indian players including as PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, and Lakshya Sen did not compete, but they are anticipated to compete in the Korea Open BWF Super 500 tournament, which starts on Tuesday.