Hyderabad: Olympic silver medallist P. V. Sindhu made a brilliant start to her campaign at the All England Open badminton championship with a quickfire win in the first round match in Birmingham, England, on Wednesday.
Sindhu got off the blocks in style and despatched Mette Poulsen of Denmark 21-10, 21-11 in less than half-an-hour at the Barclaycard Arena.
She was the second Indian to win on the opening day of prestigious event with Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy yet to play their matches by the time this edition went to bed.
Earlier, H. S. Prannoy put up a strong fight in his men’s singles match to edge past Qiao Bin of China. The Indian lost a closely-fought first game at 17-21 before upping the ante to continue his battle against the big Chinese. Prannoy took the next two games at 22-20 and 21-19 to wrap up the match in one hour and 22 minutes.
However, Ajay Jayaram lost his men’s singles match. He was beaten 21-19, 21-13 by Yuxiang Huang of China in 35 minutes.
The men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy could not get past the first round. They lost the first game at 19-21 before taking the next one at 21-10 to level the game scores. The decider saw a tough fight in which the Indians went down 18-21 to lose the match in 47 minutes.
The women’s doubles team of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha Ram also lost their first round match, to the Chinese Taipei combination of Ching Hsu Ya and Jung Wu Ti 19-21, 12-21.
Big draw for Indian Super Series
New Delhi: Meanwhile, Sindhu is likely to clash with London Olympics bronze winner Saina Nehwal in the quarterfinals of the $325,000 India Super Series scheduled to be held from March 28 to April 2 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here.
According to the draw, World No.5 Sindhu will open her campaign against Singapore’s Xiaoyu Liang and the third seeded Indian is likely to face Japan’s Saena Kawakami in the second round.
Sixth seeded Saina, on the other hand, will take on Chinese Taipei’s Chia Hsin Lee in the opening round and might meet Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong, an opponent she had beaten in the finals of the Malaysia Masters in January.
The two have met just once in an international competition — at the 2014 Syed Modi International — where Saina had won in straight games. Saina and Sindhu were on a collision course for a place in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open last year before the senior pro suffered a loss.
They had played against each other in PBL with Sindhu having an upper hand this year.
Among others in women’s singles, Rituparna Das will square off against Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Mei Hui and Tanvi Lad will have an uphill task against seventh seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Unheralded Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli will face second seeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun in her opening match.
In men’s singles, K Srikanth and B. Sai Praneeth will face the qualifiers in the first match, while Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold champion Sameer Verma will lock horns with fourth seeded Korean Son Wan Ho and Ajay Jayaram will have to get past third seed and Olympic bronze medallist Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
H. S. Prannoy will face Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkiffli in the first round.
India’s top men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy will face Japan’s Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi, while seventh seeds Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will face Indonesian combo of Hafiz Faizal and Shela Devi Aulia....