All England Championships, Highlights: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy enter 2nd round

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All England Championships, Highlights: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy enter 2nd round
  • 00:31 (IST)

    That's all for today but we will be back tomorrow as three Indian shuttlers - PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy and Saina Nehwal - will aim to progress into the next round at the All England Championships. Hope you enjoyed the live updates. Until then, take care! 

  • 00:25 (IST)

    Zhou Junpeng beats Srikanth Kidambi: 21-19, 19-21, 21-12

    It was a day to forget for Srikanth Kidambi as he went down fighting in a close encounter against Junpeng. Kidambi looked lost after the third-game break and was more defensive, allowing Junpeng to attack even more.

  • 00:17 (IST)

    Saina Nehwal beats Okuhara: 21-15, 21-14

    Saina Nehwal trounces defending champion Okuhara in straight sets to enter the second round of the All England Open. She looks hungry for success and can possibly face third seed South Korean Sung Ji Hyun in the next round. Sung is known for her brilliant court coverage and work rate but trails 1-6 in head-to-head meetings against Saina.

  • 00:08 (IST)

  • 00:02 (IST)

    Kidambi Srikanth makes comeback; wins second game 21-19

    Elsewhere in men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth gets the better of Junpeng to take the neck-and-neck match into the third and final game. This is a golden opportunity for the Hyderabad shuttler to make his mark in the tournament.

  • 23:56 (IST)

    Saina Nehwal wins first game: 21-15

    Looks like Saina Nehwal is under cruise control after comfortably winning the first game. Minor errors here and there cost a few points but she capitalised when needed.  

  • 23:51 (IST)

    Meanwhile, Srikanth Kidambi is looking to make a fine comeback in the second game as he leads 12-11. He's slowly coming back into the match and can cause an upset. 

  • 23:49 (IST)

    Here's what PV Sindhu had to say after her thumping win over Mette Poulsen! 

  • 23:47 (IST)

    Saina Nehwal is looking to finish the game early as she leads 16-11 in the first game. The defending champion Okuhara is still out of touch and that's causing a few problems for her.

  • 23:43 (IST)

    Saina Nehwal has shown great net-play and leads 11-7 at the break of the first game. Okahara will need to attack more if she wants to unsettle the Olympic bronze medallist.

  • 23:37 (IST)

    Elsewhere, Saina Nehwal has taken a 7-1 lead against defending champion Nozumi Okuhara in the first round. Even though the Indian is in better shape and form, her biggest challenge in this competition will be her decision-making and fitness.

  • 23:33 (IST)

    A barrage of smashes by Kidambi Srikanth has put Junpeng under pressure as the Indian shuttler leads 15-12 in the first round.  

  • 23:28 (IST)

    Kidambi is showing glimpses of his ariel prowess in the very first game itself as he leads 9-6. His classy open-faced racket returns can create a lot of problems for the opponent.

  • 23:23 (IST)

    Kidambi Srikanth is up and ready to face Zhao Zunpeng in the men's singles event at the All England Open. Kidambi is coming back from an injury but relishes his chances in this prestigious event. He also played in the German Open but lost to Chen Long in the quarter-final.

  • 22:42 (IST)

    All eyes will now be on Saina Nehwal who is up against defending champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the first round of the women's singles. The Japanese shuttler has been out of touch, which might give Saina the upper hand. Meanwhile, in the men's singles, fit-again Srikanth Kidambi will face Zhao Junpeng. Get ready for some action-packed badminton! 

  • 22:29 (IST)

    Huang Yuxiang beats Ajay Jayaram: 21-19, 21-13

    That's it! Huang Yuxiang adds to Jayaram's All England misery as he dominated the second game to enter the second round. 

  • 22:20 (IST)

    Huang is giving a tough time to Jayaram in the second game as he leads by 15-11 and looks like he won't bow down.  

  • 22:17 (IST)

  • 22:14 (IST)

  • 22:14 (IST)

    A win in the second game means that Jayaram will still have a chance to break the first round hoodoo at the All England Championship. He has never won a single match in the tournament. 

  • 22:10 (IST)

  • 22:09 (IST)

    Ajay Jayaram loses first game: 19-21

    Jayaram has been struggling to lift shots pointed towards the tramline and that cost him the first game. However, he must look to play quicker than usual in the second game to avoid a straight-game loss. 

  • 22:01 (IST)

    Chennai-born Jayaram is tied on 12-12 against Huang. Both shuttlers have been great so far and looks like the third game will separate these two.

  • 21:57 (IST)

    Ajay Jayaram is the next Indian shuttler in action against Huang Yuxiang in the first round of the men's singles event.

  • 21:30 (IST)

    What a thumping win for PV Sindhu! 

  • 21:30 (IST)

  • 21:29 (IST)

    PV Sindhu smashes her way into the second round: 21-10, 21-11

    From the start to finish, PV Sindhu trounced Mette Poulsen to win both the games without hiccups. This is what Pullela Gopichand and her fans want to see. Yet again, she read the threat in advance and covered the court to avoid any hassle. In return, Sindhu threw smashes from the basepoint to unsettle Poulsen. With that win, the Indian shuttler could possibly face top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. 

  • 21:20 (IST)

    Incredible kill shot by PV Sindhu there! She is just two points away from victory in the first round.

  • 21:13 (IST)

    What a matured performance by the 21-year-old star-shuttler! PV Sindhu's net-flicks have been on point since the start of the game and that is bothering her opponent.  

  • 21:07 (IST)

    PV Sindhu wins first game 21-10

    It is fair to say that PV Sindhu has dominated the first game and looks set to capitalise on the second. Poulsen is struggling to find her feet against Sindhu's untouchable forward swings.  

  • 21:01 (IST)

    PV Sindhu has taken the lead 11-7 at the break in the first game. She is showing some outstanding footwork and has covered the court quite convincingly. 

  • 20:55 (IST)

    Bang on! PV Sindhu has started the game brilliantly as she leads 7-3 against Poulsen. Looks like Sindhu is in a hurry! 

  • 20:50 (IST)

    “This is one of the most important tournaments on the circuit. It is important to start well and I want to give my best. I have to play my game. Last time I lost in the first round, so I am eager to do better this time,” said PV Sindhu before the start of the All England Championship.

  • 20:21 (IST)

    PV Sindhu vs Mette Poulsen

    Next up, will be sixth seed PV Sindhu against 33rd ranked Danish Mette Poulsen in the women's singles. The 21-year-old Indian shuttler will be looking forward to advancing into the second round after losing to Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the first round in the previous edition. However, Sindhu eyes the prestigious title this time around after making a brilliant start to 2017, winning the Premier Badminton League (PBL) crown with Chennai Smashers and the Syed Modi Grand Prix.  

  • 20:03 (IST)

    Well, just when the game was slipping away, HS Prannoy snatched it from Qiao Bin in a jiffy. Credit goes to his decision-making towards the end of the game. With that win, Prannoy could meet seventh seed Tian Houwei or Malaysian ace Lee Chong Wei in the second round. 

  • 19:47 (IST)

  • 19:45 (IST)

    HS Prannoy wins the first round: 17-21, 22-20, 21-19

    HS Prannoy makes a stunning comeback from 18-13 to win the third game 21-19 and enters into the second round at the All England Championships! 

  • 19:39 (IST)

    19-19! It's neck-and-neck in the third and final game. Will HS Prannoy claim this one to win it? 

  • 19:36 (IST)

    Qiao is making the difference at the moment all because of his strong work-rate, covering the backcourt, midcourt and forecourt with ease. However, the only way out for Prannoy to win this one will be his deadly smashes. Now is the time he should capitalise on the base position. 

  • 19:31 (IST)

  • 19:28 (IST)

    Qiao Bin has taken the third game under control as he leads 11-9 at the break. Meanwhile, HS Prannoy should now try and be more direct which might help him put Qiao under pressure. 

  • 19:25 (IST)

    HS Prannoy is finally getting into the groove but he must make sure he does not get carried away, keeping Qiao's quick movement in mind. Qiao can pounce quickly and kill the game just like he did in the first game.

  • 19:13 (IST)

  • 19:10 (IST)

    HS Prannoy wins second game: 22-20

    It's 1-1 at the Barclaycard Arena as Prannoy gets the better of Qiao in the second game to make this contest even more entertaining! We enter the third and final game of the match. 

  • 19:02 (IST)

    Prannoy's net-plays have been disappointing so far and that has cost him too many points in both the games, while on the other hand, Qiao has been handling the pressure quite comfortably.  

  • 18:58 (IST)

    The second game has been more interesting as HS Prannoy looks comfortable with his smashes. He leads 11-7 at the break of the second game against Qiao Bin. 

  • 18:53 (IST)

  • 18:50 (IST)

    HS Prannoy leads 7-1 and has started the second game brilliantly, taking on Qiao from the very first rally. Looks like the comeback is on! 

  • 18:47 (IST)

    Qiao Bin wins first game: 21-17

    Qiao has played smartly to unsettle HS Prannoy who looked more defensive in the first game. Now, the onus will be on Prannoy to make a comeback in the second game.

  • 18:41 (IST)

    Well, Prannoy has now made a come back in this game as he trails by a 16-17 in the first game. Will he go on to win the game? 

Preview: Olympic champion Carolina Marin will battle top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan as the Spaniard bids to reclaim her All England Open badminton crown in Birmingham this week.

The 23-year-old became an improbable star by emerging from such a badminton backwater as Spain, and the gold medal she won in Rio last August was a priority to the exclusion of all else throughout 2016.

File photo of PV Sindhu. AP

But Marin's aims this year are entirely different. Her bid to regain the All England Open title she lost five months before Rio will begin against Line Kjaersfeldt, the world number 23 from Denmark, on Wednesday.

"I didn't win a Super Series last year, but it doesn't matter - I won the most important event of all," said Marin of her Rio success.

Though she still has the highest profile, Marin is not the number one seed. That is Tai, a gifted stroke-maker from Taiwan who won the World Super Series finals in December and became the year's highest prize money winner with $271,025.

Much depends on how Marin feels physically.

The bustling left-hander endured recurring thigh strains and variable fitness during the later stages of 2016, and on Sunday she withdrew without contesting the German Open final in Mulheim.

This may merely have been a precaution, but it raises questions as to whether she really is fresher and better than at any time since her Games triumph, now nearly seven months ago.

Tai and Marin are being helped by a gap in the production line of Chinese women's singles champions.

No Chinese woman stood on the Olympic podium in Rio, and none won the women's singles at last year's All England – despite 14 having done so in the previous 19 years.

The criticism which has followed such setbacks prompted head coach Li Yongbo to call for calm.

"Sometimes you are strong and sometimes you fall back," he said, warning "the next generation comes up slowly".

A crucial encounter could be a quarter-final between Marin and Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon, who became the All-England's youngest ever singles finalist at the age of 18 four years ago.

The quarter-finals could see a similarly stern test of Tai's top-seeded status if she meets PV Sindhu, the sixth-seeded Olympic silver medallist, who has reportedly become India's highest paid athlete after cricketer Virat Kohli.

Sixth seed Sindhu will begin her campaign at the Barclaycard Arena against Danish Mette Poulsen. At this stage of her career, All England presents a perfect opportunity for the two-time World Championship bronze medallist to further elevate her profile.

Meanwhile, the women's singles has produced perhaps the most improbable first round in its 117-year history – a clash between Saina Nehwal, the former world number one from India, and Nozomi Okuhara, the All England title-holder from Japan. Injury sidelined Okuhara for seven months, leaving her unseeded.

In the men's section, Srikanth, HS Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram represent India in the singles.

While Rio Olympic quarter-finalist Srikanth opens his campaign against a qualifier, Prannoy will take on China's Qiao Bin. World No.19 and double Dutch Open winner Jayaram will meet China's Huang Yuxiang.

Only two Indians, Prakash Padukone and current chief coach P Gopichand have won titles at the All England and the latter will do his best to ensure that the drought ends in the prestigious badminton meet.

In the men's doubles category, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will face a qualifying pair in the opening round.

The women's doubles pair of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S Ram will meet Chinese Taipei's Hsu Ya Ching and Wu Ti Jung.

The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy will face South Koreans Yoo Yeon Seong and Kim Ha Na.

With Agency inputs.

Updated Date: Mar 09, 2017 00:33 AM

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