All England Open 2021: PV Sindhu cruises past Soniia Cheah; Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap suffer early exits

The Indian women's duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy and men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also progressed to the second round with straight game wins.

Press Trust of India March 17, 2021 20:58:36 IST
All England Open 2021: PV Sindhu cruises past Soniia Cheah; Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap suffer early exits

File image of PV Sindhu. AFP

Birmingham: World champion PV Sindhu made an impressive start at the All England Badminton Championships but compatriots Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap suffered early exits after losing their respective opening round men's singles matches here on Wednesday.

The Indian women's duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy and men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also progressed to the second round with straight game wins.

Olympic silver medallist Sindhu gave a good account of herself as she covered the court well and dished out a disciplined performance to outwit world number 32 Soniia Cheah of Malaysia 21-11, 21-17 in 38 minutes.

The fifth-seeded Indian will face Denmark's Line Christophersen next.

Earlier, Ashwini and Sikki got the better of Thailand's Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard 21-14, 21-12 in 30 minutes, while the sixth-seeded Satwik and Chirag took 19 minutes to see off England's Nikhar Garg and India's Aniruddha Mayekar 21-7, 21-10 in a lop-sided contest.

Ashwini and Sikki will face sixth-seeded Bulgarian sisters Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva next, while Satwik and Chirag will meet the formidable Danish pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, who had defeated the Indian duo on way to their title win at the Swiss Open.

In the men's singles, seeded eight, Srikanth lost to Ireland's unseeded player Nguyen Nhat 11-21, 21-15, 12-21. His match lasted exactly an hour as the player from Ireland came back strongly after losing the second game against the Indian.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kashyap put up a brave fight before going down to top-seeded Japanese Kento Momota 13-21, 2-22 in 42 minutes.

After an initial neck and neck battle till 7-7, Sindhu went into the break with a three-point advantage. The Indian kept the proceedings under control to eventually wrap up the opening game in 16 minutes.

In the second game, Soniia managed to eke out a 10-8 lead but the Indian upped the ante to head into the interval with a slender 11-10 advantage.

The Malaysian strengthened her defence and managed to catch up at 17-17 with a run of three points. Two unforced errors by Soniia handed Sindhu three match points and she sealed it when the Malaysian went long again.

In other results, Malaysian pair of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi ended the campaign of Indian men's combo of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila with a 21-13, 21-12 win, while the women's duo of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S Ram also bowed out after losing 10-21, 15-21 to Denmark's Alexandra Boje and Mette Poulsen.

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