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Highest ranked Indonesian player Ginting knocked out in opening round in Bali tourney

Anthony Ginting. Photo: IOC

Bali, Nov 24 (MNN) Indonesia’s highest ranked men’s singles badminton player Anthony Sinisuka Ginting was knocked out of Indonesia Open 2021 after losing the opening round match here on Wednesday.

The tournament fifth seed suffered a shock defeat to Christo Popov 21-17, 21-18 in his first-ever encounter against the rising French player.

Olympic bronze medallist Ginting got off to a better start, holding an 11-8 advantage over Popov in the opening game.

The 19-year-old levelled the score at 12-12 and the two subsequently traded points all the way up to 17-17. The French teenager then managed to surge ahead and clinched the first game.

Ginting had the lead for most of the second game as well before Popov, who is ranked 70th in the world, closed the gap at 17-17 and brought the match home.

Home favourite Ginting conceded that the better player won. “Christo played very well today. He attacked me very well at the net. I made many mistakes as well in both my defence and attack and that’s why he was able to take many points off me.

“I was watching him play in the Sudirman Cup and until today. I knew my game today would not be easy because Christo is one of the best young players out there. Today is his day”

For Christo, who is playing in his first Super 1000 tournament, the win is arguably the most high-profile victory of his career to-date, and one that perhaps even surprised him a little.

The French player shared that going into the match he was aiming to show his ability and perhaps take one game off Ginting, but things changed when he stepped out on court.

“When I began to play I felt very good on court and I think he made very easy mistakes. Maybe there was a little bit of stress on him but on my side I got so much confidence after winning the first set I think I just started to fly on court.”

Popov will next play India’s Sai Praneeth for a chance to make the final eight.

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