World Badminton Championships 2017: Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma cruise into 2nd round
Srikanth defeated Russia's Sergey Sirant 21-13 21-12 in less than half an hour match to set up a clash with France's Lucas Corvee in the next round on Tuesday.
Glasgow: India made a promising start at the World Championship with in-form shuttler Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma advancing to the second round of the men's singles competition on Monday.
Srikanth, seeded eighth, who won the Indonesia Super series premier and Australian Super series Open in June, defeated Russia's Sergey Sirant 21-13 21-12 in less than half an hour match to set up a clash with France's Lucas Corvee in the next round on Tuesday.
Sameer Verma, who won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January, also reached the second round after his opponent Spain's Pablo Abian retired midway with the score reading 21-8 17-4 in favour of the Indian.
He will meet either England's Rajiv Ouseph or Czech Adam Mendrek in the next round.
Young mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Maneesha K defeated Hong Kong pair of Tam Chun Hei and Ng Tsz Yau 24-22 21-17 to also start their campaign on a positive note.
The Indo-Malaysian pair of Prajakta Sawant and Yogendran Khrishnan saw off Chinese Taipei's Lu Ching Yao and Chiang Kai Hsin 21-15 13-21 21-18 in another mixed doubles match.
In the men's singles, it was a nervy start for Srikanth as he missed few points but his smart play at the net and some precise smashes helped the Indian to enter the break at 11-6.
After the interval, the Indian kept increasing the distance, reaching 15-7 and eventually sealed the opening game with ease.
In the second game, Srikanth once again zoomed ahead to 11-5 after an initial duel. The duo engaged in some exciting rallies but the Indian was always ahead.
Srikanth eventually held a comfortable eight match points advantage when his rival hit the net. Sirant's next return also found the net as Srikanth sealed the match comfortably.
"I had a decent break after the Indonesian Open and I worked hard after that before coming in here. First rounds can always be tough in big Championships like this and I am happy that I came through it. It is a confidence booster," said Srikanth.
"I have not set any targets as such, I just want to play and I want to go match by match. I did not think about the second round before this match and now I am only thinking about the next match," he added.
Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu will open their campaign on Tuesday, having got byes in the first round.
The Indonesian doubles player had won the 2008 Olympic gold medal, 2006 World Cup and 2007 World Championships titles with Hendra Setiawan.
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Jwala also said the fact that players have not been able to play a lot of tournaments this time due to COVID-19 is also a concern.