Singapore Superseries: PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth register contrasting wins to enter second round
Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu and ace male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth registered contrasting victories in their respective events to make it to the second round of Singapore Open Superseries on Wednesday.
Singapore: Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu and ace male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth registered contrasting victories in their respective events to make it to the second round of Singapore Open Superseries on Wednesday.
Sindhu staved off a stiff challenge from 2016 All England champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to make a positive start to her campaign, while Srikanth blew away Kenta Nishimoto of Japan in straight games in his opening duel.
Sindhu, who had clinched her maiden India Open Super Series title earlier this month, fought back from a game down to eke out a 10-21 21-15 22-20 win in the opening round of a women's singles match that lasted an hour and two minutes.
The fifth seeded Indian will next face Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani.
Srikanth, on the other hand, crushed Nishimoto 21-12 21- 11 in the men's singles first round later in the day.
Srikanth will play Ihsan Maulana Mustofa of Indonesia in his next match.
Earlier in the day, runners-up at Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January, B Sai Praneeth also dished out a gritty performance to prevail 17-21 21-7 21-19 over Denmark's Emil Holst.
The Indian will clash with China's Qiao Bin on Thursday.
Another Indian male shuttler, Ajay Jayaram, however, crashed out of the tournament after losing 16-21 7-21 against fifth seed Yuqi Shi of China.
In women's doubles, new pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy showed their prowess in a fighting 21-19 21-19 win over Malaysian combo of Yin Loo Lim and Yap Cheng Wen.
However, it was curtains for Verma brothers – Sourabh and Sameer – as well as for Rituparna Das in singles events.
While National Champion Sourabh failed to match Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and lost 15-21 14-21 in just 39 minutes, Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold champion Sameer battled hard before going down 26-28 21-23 to Hong Kong's Hu Yun.
Chinese Taipei's Hsu Ya Ching ended Rituparna's campaign, handing her an 18-21 13-21 defeat in 58 minutes.
Mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankirteddy and Maneesha K, however, lost 13-21 21-16 11-21 to Lu Ching Yao and Chiang Kai Hsin of Chinese Taipei, while men's doubles combo of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy suffered an 8-21 16-21 defeat to Japanese combo of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.
The soft-spoken Indian ace was not known for her aggression till five years back and it was chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, who had transformed her into an aggressive player ahead of the Rio Games.
The world number seven Indian will next play Hong Kong's world number 34 Cheung Ngan Yi in the group stage.
Sindhu is one of the favourites for the gold, especially in the absence of defending champion Carolina Marin, who missed the Games due to an injury.