Star Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth progressed to the men’s singles second round with a walkover after his opponent Kento Momota pulled out while Sourabh Verma entered the main draw of the Hong Kong Open after clinching straight-game wins in his two qualifying clashes in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old Srikanth was slated to face Momota on Wednesday, but the Japanese world number one pulled out of the tournament on Tuesday, reasons for which were still not known.
World number 10 Srikanth will now face either compatriot Sourabh or Frenchman Brice Leverdez, who will clash in the second round on Wednesday, to reach the quarterfinal.
Sourabh, seeded fourth in the qualifiers, first defeated Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-15, 21-19 before getting the better of Lucas Claerbout of France 21-19, 21-19 in the final qualifying round.
Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles, Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa rallied from a game down to beat the Thailand duo of Nipitphon Phuangphuapet and Savitree Amitrapai 16-21, 21-19, 21-17 in a 55-minute match and advance to the second round.
However, the other Indian pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 10-21, 18-21 to the third seeded Thai pair of Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai to bow out of the tournament.