Srikanth, the only Indian male shuttler in fray in singles, got past world No 85 Munoz 21-11 21-17 in 41 minutes to give a perfect ending to the sixth day of competitions. Earlier, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu had also won their opening group matches in women’s singles while the combinations of Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa (women’s doubles) and Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy (men’s doubles) tasted defeats in their respective group openers.
If Srikanth, who had defeated badminton super star Lin Dan to win the Chinese Open two years ago, had expected an easier outing than he encountered, it was belied by the Mexican’s will to fight with good backing from the crowd, especially in the second game.
After taking the opening game comfortably, the cushion of a 16-9 lead proving handy, Srikanth was given a tough fight in the second as he had to rally from behind on quite a few occasions before using his better court craft and experience to see him through. The last point was won by the Indian with a bodyline smash followed by a push to the back court that caught the Mexican in no-man’s land.