Saina, Sindhu register win; Prannoy bows out
New Delhi: Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu advanced to the second round while H S Prannoy made an early exit after playing with corns on his feet in the $350,000 India Open Super 500 badminton tournament here on Wednesday.
With BWF making it mandatory for top shuttlers to play 12 tournaments in a year, World No. 10 Prannoy took the court against compatriot Shreyansh Jaiswal despite developing foot corns and handed over the opening round match to his younger colleague 4-21 6-21 within 13 minutes.
In the women's singles, Indonesia Masters finalist Saina got across Denmark's Sofie Holmboe Dahl 21-15 21-9, while defending champion Sindhu dumped another Danish girl Natalia Koch Rohde 21-10 21-13. Saina will face Denmark's Line H jmark Kjaersfeldt, while Sindhu will take on Bulgaria's Linda Zetchiri next. Playing his first tournament of the new season after missing the Indonesia Masters due to a minor injury, second seed Kidambi Srikanth overcame Malaysia's Lee Cheuk Yiu 21-17 21-18 to set up a clash with Malaysian qualifier Iskandar Zulkarnain.
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap also heaved a sigh of relief after stunning World No. 17 Denmark's Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus 21-14, 21-18, making his first second round of a major event in more than a year. The new BWF calender makes it mandatory for top 15 singles players to play in 12 tournaments out of the Super 1000, Super 750 and Super 500 events.
"I had to participate in the India Open because of the new BWF rule of mandatory 12 tournaments. I could not even concede the match because I have a compatriot as opponent and according to BWF rules. If you concede against the same country opponent, you won't get ranking points," said Prannoy, who had already missed the first two Super 500 tournaments at Malaysia and Indonesia. "BWF does not see any genuine reason. There is no flexibility. I have already missed a couple of tournaments so I thought I would play here rather than missing
tournaments probably in the later part of the year. Later, I would be running around. It will be a problem then," he added.