Sindhu marches ahead

Kidambi Srikanth celebrates after defeating Hong Kong's Vincent Wong Wing Ki. PTI

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.

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