Monday, November 29, 2021

What are the names of the four Indians who have won the French Open?

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Following a disappointing Denmark Open campaign, the Indian badminton team looked to regain form in the French Open, a BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament. However, they did not have any success in the tournament because no Indian shuttler made it to the finals in their respective categories.

Even two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu was eliminated from the tournament after a 21-18, 16-21, 12-21 loss to world No. 15 Sayaka Takahashi. The world No. 7 only made it to the semi-finals and will look to improve in the upcoming tournaments.

Sindhu is making her second appearance on the court since winning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Despite suffering from an injury, Saina Nehwal competed in the competition. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, a promising doubles pair who caught the eye at the Olympics, struggled against some top players.

However, the young Indian players consistently punched above their weight in the last two tournaments, giving the nation reason to be optimistic. Despite these encouraging signs, India’s performance at the current French Open has not been as anticipated. However, let us take a look at some of the Indian men who have previously won the French Open singles title.

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Vimal Kumar: 1983, 1984

U. Vimal Kumar is a two-time French Open champion and one of India’s most well-known badminton players. Back-to-back titles for the Kerela-born shuttler were almost unthinkable for an Indian, especially at the time. Vimal Kumar went on to accomplish a lot for badminton in India. He is the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy’s co-founder, director, and current chief coach.

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As a coach, he has also contributed to the success of Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap. SainaNehwal gives Vimal Kumar a lot of credit for his assistance in dealing with injuries and achieving success. In 2019, he was also given the Dronacharya Award.

Siddharth Jain: 2000

After the success brought to the nation by Vimal Kumar’s titles, it took over 15 years for the French Open title to return home. Siddharth Jain, like many other successful Indian shuttlers, attended the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy. He came from the same batch as Pullela Gopichand. Over the years, the two had a healthy rivalry.

Siddharth Jain did not make it higher than world No. 38, and his greatest achievement was the French Open, but he is known for his technique to this day.

AbhinnShyam Gupta: 2001

AbhinnShyam Gupta brought home the French Open title just a year after Siddharth Jain did. Between 1998 and 2005, the Allahabad-born shuttler competed at the highest level for India. He is also an Olympian, having represented the tri-color nation in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

AbhinnShyam Gupta even briefly coached PV Sindhu in 2012. In addition, he received the Arjuna Award in 2004/05.

Kidambi Srikanth: 2017

Kidambi Srikanth was instrumental in restoring hope to India’s men’s badminton section. In 2017, the Hyderabad-born shuttler ended a long drought by winning the French Open. He won his sixth Superseries title by defeating Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in straight games. Srikanth’s last Superseries victory came at the French Open. Despite a promising run of trophies, his recent slump has left many disappointed.

In the ongoing French Open, the former Denmark Open champion was knocked out in the second round by KentoMomota in straight games. The Indian shuttler has had a disappointing run of results and will be eager to regain his form.

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