French Open Day 4 Roundup: Satwik/Chirag and Lakshya Sen advance to the semi-final

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Lakshya Sen will face World No. 8 Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the semifinal of the 2024 French Open

On Day 4, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Thailand’s Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren to book a spot in the semi-finals of the 2024 French Open. In addition to that, Lakshya Sen also recorded a historic victory and reached the last four in Paris.

On the other hand, despite gritty efforts, PV Sindhu suffered a disappointing elimination while Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand also got knocked out. Here’s a look at the Day 4 matches:

Men’s Singles

Lakshya Sen vs Loh Kean Yew

India’s Lakshya Sen recorded a heroic win over China’s Li Shifeng in the Round of 16 and earned a spot in the quarterfinals. In the last eight, he was drawn against Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew, who’s currently 12th in the BWF men’s singles rankings. 

Facing Yew, the Indian shuttler didn’t get a favourable start as he lost the first game by a slight margin of 19-21. However, overcoming the deficit, Sen stunned the Singaporean shutter to claim the victory and secure a semi-final spot 19-21, 21-15, 21-13. Interestingly, in all of the three matches that he has played, Sen has lost the first game and then returned to secure the victory.  

In the next round, the Indian shuttler will face Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn on Saturday, March 9. Vitidsarn, who’s currently BWF World No. 8, defeated Taiwan’s Wang Tzu-wei in two games in the quarterfinal. 

Last year, Sen was eliminated in the first round by France’s Arnaud Merkle, however, this time, the Indian shuttler has already eliminated last year’s runner-up, Shifeng. Not only the French Open, but a positive result will provide Sen momentum ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics. 

Women’s Singles

PV Sindhu vs Chen Yufei 

PV Sindhu suffered an upsetting loss against China’s Chen Yufei in the last eight

A returning PV Sindhu defeated the likes of United States’s Michelle Li and Beiwen Zhang in her first and second-round fixtures respectively. However, after two laudable performances, the Indian shuttler was drawn against World No. 2 Chen Yufei. 

Facing the big challenge, Sindhu started strong as she looked compact and confident with her smashes against the Chinese shuttler. However, Yufei managed to take an early lead against Sindhu by making the scoreline 12-6. Nevertheless, the Indian shuttler managed to come back and win the first game 22-24. 

When It seemed like Sindhu would continue her fairytale run in Paris, World No. 2 started dominating the game on her serve and it also led to the Indian making constant errors. Sindhu lost the second game 21-17. Despite valiant efforts in the third game, the Indian shuttler lost the match 22-24, 21-17, 21-18. 

Sindhu was India’s only representative in the women’s singles event at the French Open. Talking about Yufei, she will be facing Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, who’s currently World No. 4. Interestingly, the top four seeds in women’s singles have reached the semi-finals of the tournament. 

Men’s Doubles

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty vs Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren

After comfortable wins in the initial two rounds, the Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty cruised into the quarter-finals, where they were up against Thailand’s Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren. 

In the first game, Satwik and Chirag made a few early errors as Jomkoh and Kedren took a 6-11 lead. However, the Malaysian shuttlers failed to capitalise on the lead as the 2022 Asian Games gold medalists sealed the first game 21-19. Interestingly, the second game turned out to be a cakewalk for the top seeds as they overcame the Thai challenge and won the match 21-19, 21-13. 

With another confident victory, Satwik and Chirag have entered the semi-finals in Paris. In the last four, they’ll be facing South Korea’s Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung-Jae, who have been seeded third in the tournament. Kang and Seo defeated Malaysia’s Aaron Chia Teng Fong and Soh Wooi Yik in the quarter-final.

Satwik and Chirag will be facing World No. 2 BWF men’s pair Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung-Jae in the semi-final

After three matches, the top-seeded pair is yet to lose a game in the 2024 French Open. In addition to that, including their recent quarter-final triumph, Satwik and Chirag have lost only one of their last ten matches across all competitions. 

Women’s Doubles

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand vs Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan 

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand recorded memorable wins in their two initial matches at the 2024 French Open but the pair faced World No. 1 Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan in the quarter-final. 

Facing the Chinese pair turned out to be the ultimate test for the Indian shuttlers as they entered the last eight fixture as huge underdogs. In the first game, Jolly/Gopichand gave a tough competition to the Chinese pair as they fought hard for every single point. Nevertheless, they ended up losing the first game 21-18. 

As soon as the first game concluded in favour of Qingchen and Yifan, the Indian pair started looking sombre. Due to on-court dullness and a series of unforced errors, they eventually lost the match 21-18, 21-7. 

What’s on Day 5? 

India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be in action against South Korea’s Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung-jae in the semi-final. Moreover, Lakshya Sen will challenge Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn for a spot in the final of the French Open.