Sindhu marches ahead

Last Updated 19 April 2019, 10:13 IST

PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth posted contrasting wins to prevail in the opening round of Yonex-Sunrise India Open at the Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium on Wednesday.

Srikanth, seeded third, was stretched by Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent 21-16, 18-21, 21-19, but Sindhu needed mere 23 minutes to show the door to young Mugdha Agrey 21-8 21-13. Subhankar Dey, ranked 44, brought more joy in the Indian camp when he rallied to stun fourth-seed and World No 9 Tommy Sugiarto 14-21, 22-20, 21-11.

HS Prannoy, who recently recovered from gastro-oesophagal reflux disease, put up a strong show to upset eighth seed and World No 17 Kantaphon Wangcharoe with a 14-21, 21-18, 21-14 victory in the opening round of the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament.

Swiss Open runner-up Sai Praneeth stormed back from a game down to edge Kartikey Gulshan Kumar 22-24, 21-13, 21-8 in 59 minutes. However, former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt went down 18-21, 11-21 to Thailand’s World No 36 Sitthikom Thammasin.

Dey, who had willed himself against the family pressure to become a shuttler, had a breakthrough moment in November last when he won the SaarLorLux Open title. The 25-year-old called it one of his best wins. “It was a very tough match. I gained a lot of confidence after Swiss Open where I beat Jonatan Christie. It is one of my top matches. I am really happy with the way I am playing,’ said Dey, who trains in Denmark.

Meanwhile, Srikanth was relieved to wriggle himself out of tough encounter against Vincent. “It was a pretty close one. I started well but couldn’t hold on, just happy to pull off. I have played him four-five times after the Asian Games, it is like almost every tournament, so it is like as if he has become an Indian or I have become a Hong Kong player,’ said Srikanth.

In the women’s singles, World No. 92 Riya Mookerjee recorded her first win over Phittayaporn Chaiwan in three meetings. The 20-year-old won 21-17, 21-15. Former champions Ratchanok Intanon and Li Xuerui, too, made good starts. The fourth-seeded Intanon, eyeing her third title, beat India’s Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka 21-9, 21-6. London Olympic gold medallist Xuerui defeated Nitchaon Jindapol a 21-17, 21-11.

In doubles, sixth seeds Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy beat compatriot Ravi and Lakshay Saroha 21-14, 21-7. Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Shivam Sharma, who qualified for the main draw, made short work of Senthil Vel Govindarasu and Vembarasan Venkatachalam 21-13, 21-13.

(Published 27 March 2019, 16:42 IST)

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