Suchde loses opener
Goes down to fourth seed french Gautlier 11-4 11-1 11-6
Opening India's campaign at the PSA Masters, Siddharth Suchde was welcomed with the loudest applause that the sparse crowd gathered at the Siri Fort Sports Complex could manage and he acknowledged it with a smile, a wave of the racquet and by winning the first point of the match against World No. 6 Gregory Gautlier. That would be one of only a few bright moments for Suchde, who despite putting up a fight saw the French fourth seed eventually winning 11-4, 11-1, 11-6.
The support for Suchde was partisan and he had Women's World No. 17 player Dipika Pallikal to cheer him on from the stands, and Sourav Ghosal counseling him during changeovers. However the French was riding on such superior skill that even the Mumbai boy's best lengths and well-disguised drops invariably found their way back on the front wall. While Suchde managed to play numerous rallies of more than 25-30 strokes, they frustratingly ended in let calls. Though Suchde was covering the court well and keeping his focus on dominating the T, Gautlier used the tactic of playing a close drop shot and then sending him running back to the back well to retrieve the next shot successfully. Suchde leveled at 2-2 in the first game with a winning volley but the only two other points he got in the game were off unforced errors of Gautlier's racquet.
The second game went even more in Gautlier's favour as the Frenchman took his pace and accuracy to a higher level. Suchde was competing well in the 30-40 stroke rallies but again most of them ended in let calls. An error as he attempted to mix up his shots saw him go down 0-4 and an attempt at an angle went wide for 0-5. He won a point with a drop shot but it came too late in the game at 7-1.
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