India’s shuttlers suffer mixed fates on the opening day of All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham on Wednesday. World Champion Sindhu breezed past Beiwen Zhang of USA in straight games 21-14, 21-17 to enter into the second of the tournament. While it was curtains for Kidambi Srikanth as he failed to cross the opening hurdle against Chen Long in the prestigious tournament. The former world number one Srikanth lost 15-21, 16-21 to the Chinese in the first round. Also Read - Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Mary Kom Participate in Lights Off Challenge as Sporting Fraternity Unite in Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic by Lighting Candles, Lamps
In the women’s singles encounter, the sixth seed Sindhu got the better of the American, ranked eight places below her in the 42-minute encounter. After looking in complete control for the most part, the Indian ace held her nerves in the crucial moments better than Zhang. Also Read - Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty Pair Hopes to Get a New Foreign Coach After Tokyo Olympic Postponement
The second game was a close affair with the two players locked at 16-16. Sindhu, however, won five points in a row to clinch the issue. Also Read - PV Sindhu Could Remain World Champion For Three Years
It was the 10th meeting between the two players with Sindhu improving the head-to-head record to 6-4. The last time they met was at the Korea Open where the American won in three sets.
Sindhu will now clash with Korean Sung Ji Hyun for a place in the quarterfinals.
In the men’s event, Srikanth’s woeful run of form continued as he went down in straight games against Olympic champion Long. The loss has made Srikanth’s job even more tougher of qualifying for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020.
The mixed doubles Indian pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 13-21, 21-11, 17-21 to top-seeded Chinese pair of Si Wei Zheng and Ya Qiong Huang.
Saina Nehwal, Lakshya Sen, B Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap are scheduled to play later in the day. The first Super 1000 level event of the calendar year is being played amid concerns over the coronavirus situation in Europe.