Saina Nehwal, who won bronze at the London 2012 Olympics, lost a lead and withdrew from the women's singles competition on Tuesday's opening day of the French Open 2022. The doubles winners from CWG 2022, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, advanced to the second round with ease.
Saina Nehwal was defeated by Yvonne Li of Germany 21-13, 17-21, and 19-21. Saina Nehwal was the lone Indian competing in the women's singles event at the BWF Super 750 competition since PV Sindhu was injured. The world No. 27 Yvonne Li and Saina Nehwal, who just slid to the 33rd spot in the most current badminton rankings, began the match on an even footing and were knotted at 5-5 before the Indian player took control with four consecutive points.
Saina Nehwal, who was in complete control, capitalised and easily won the first game. However, it appeared like the Indian had lost steam, and Li seized the chance to tie the game and force a decider. In the third game, both players gave it their best to win, and as a result, the lead and the momentum were constantly changing as Li and Nehwal alternated periods of dominance.
Nehwal appeared to be the favourite to win the match with a 19-17 advantage, but Li won the next four points in a row to deny the Olympic medalist. The game took 57 minutes to complete. She has lost in the first round of a tournament three times in a row, the most recent being the French Open. Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, the seventh seeds in the men's doubles, defeated Christo and Toma Junior Popov 19-21, 21-9, 21-13 to advance to the next round.
The Indian team unexpectedly fell down in the opening game, but they made up ground in the following two to win the match in an hour and eight minutes. Chirag and Satwik will compete against Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee of Malaysia, who defeated Lucas Corvee and Ronan Labar of France in their last match.
Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto of India were eliminated earlier in the day after losing 21-13, 21-16 in consecutive games to Kyohei Yamashita and Naru Shinoya of Japan. The women's doubles tournament also saw the early exit of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand. In a match of razor-thin margins, the Indian team put up a brave battle against Thailand's Rawinda Prajongjai and Jongkolphan Kititharakul, but ultimately fell short by scores of 23-21 and 22-20.