Millennium Post

Srikanth loses; Saina enters second round of India Open

Defending champion Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the first round of men’s singles but Saina Nehwal advanced to second round of women’s event in the Indian Open Super Series badminton tournament here on Wednesday.

Women’s singles defending champion Saina and Rituparna Das had an easy outing as both entered round two of the USD 300,000 event comfortably here at the Siri Fort stadium. Olympic bronze medallist Saina thrashed compatriot Tanvi Lad 21-7 21-13 in a lop-sided 34-minute match, while Rituparna Das defeated compatriot Anura Prabhudesai 21-18 21-15.

The World No. 6 Indian will next face Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol and Rituparna will meet former All England champion and fourth seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. Srikanth, meanwhile, played out his skin before losing 13-21 21-17 22-24 to All England finalist Chinese Tian Houwei, seeded seventh, in a hard-fought match that lasted an hour and 23 minutes.

Srikanth had defeated Tian during the Badminton Asia Team Championships in February.

B Sai Praneeth, who had stunned two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei in the opening round of All England Championship, lost 20-22 13-21 to Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia, while Ajay Jayaram blew away a 11-7 and a 19-17 lead in the decider to go down 12-21 21-13 19-21 to Germany’s Marc Zwiebler in other opening round matches of men’s singles. Women’s singles player Ruthvika Shivani Gadde also suffered a 10-21 14-21 loss to sixth seeded Chinese Wang Shixian, who reached the finals of the All England earlier this month. In men’s doubles category, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar, who reached the finals of the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, beat Arjun Kumar Reddy Malgari and Santosh Ravuri 21-17 21-16 to set up a fight with Korean second seeds Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang.

Another Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who won the Mexico Open last year, beat compatriots Vineeth Manuel and S Sanjeeth 21-13 21-13 in another lop-sided match. They will meet Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling and Chi-Lin Wang. 
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