The Indian trio of PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth dished out superb performances on the opening day to advance to the second round of the USD 350,000 Indonesia Masters World Tour Super 500 badminton tournament. Olympic and World Championship silver medallist Sindhu opened the new season with a fighting 22-24 21-8 21-17 win over 2012 London Games champion Li Xuerui of China in a 54-minute women’s singles match.
The second-seeded Indian will now be pitted against Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. Eighth-seeded Saina, who had reached the semifinals at the Malaysia Masters last week, recovered from a first-game loss to secure a 7-21 21-16 21-11 win over local hope Dinar Dyah Ayustine, ranked 50th, in another women’s singles match. It was Saina’s third win over Ayustine.
The 28-year-old from Hyderabad will next face another Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani, against whom she has a 4-0 head-to-head record.
In men’s singles, eighth seed Srikanth eased past Malaysia’s Chong Wei Feng 21-12 21-8 to set up a showdown with Japan’s Asian Games bronze medallist Kenta Nishimoto.
But compatriots B Sai Praneeth and Subhankar Dey failed to cross the opening hurdle at the tournament.
2017 Singapore Open champion Praneeth was sent packing 12-21 16-21 by Olympic champion Chen Long of China in 40 minutes, while Subhankar, who had won his maiden title at SaarLorLux Open in Germany last year, fought hard before going down 14-21 21-19 15-21 against former World champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Local hope Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, seeded seventh, proved a difficult customer for Parupalli Kashyap once again as he claimed a 21-12 21-16 win over the former Commonwealth Games champion.
In men’s doubles, national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy dished out a fighting game to notch up a 14-21 21-19 21-15 win over Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding and Niclas Nohr.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out of the competition, losing 14-21 14-21 to Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in the women’s doubles opener.
(With PTI Inputs)