Bengaluru, March 17: India endured a mixed outing on the opening day of the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championship on Wednesday.
India’s campaign got off to a disappointing start on Wednesday as Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap lost their first-round ties. But PV Sindhu turned the day around for the Indian camp, as she notched a comfortable win over Soniia Cheah.
Apart from Sindhu, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and Ashwini Ponappa-N Sikki Reddy also secured comfortable wins on the opening day.
Srikanth, the first Indian shuttler in action on Wednesday, went down to Irish shuttler Nhat Nguyen. The Indian looked out of sorts against the Irish player as he lost the first round tie 11-21, 21-15, 12-21.
While the Indian looked listless in the opening game, Srikanth fought back to level the tie, taking it into the decider. But despite a fight, the Irish shuttler extended his lead to wrap up the match as Srikanth became the first Indian to crash out.
Meanwhile, India’s tough day continued as Kashyap also endured a first round loss. Japan’s Kento Momota notched up a straight-game defeat against Kashyap on Wednesday. Momota downed the Indian 13-21, 20-22 on Wednesday.
While Kashyap looked listless in the opening game, the Indian fought hard in the second game levelling in 20-20, before Momota wrapped it up 20-22, to hand India the second loss of the day.
While the men’s single campaign endured a tough day, Sindhu got off the women’s campaign to a positive start. The top Indian shuttler entered the last-16 with a comfortable straight-game win over Malaysia’s Cheah, defeating her 21-11, 21-17.
The sixth seeded pair of Rankiraj and Shetty also entered the last-16 with a solid win of 21-7, 21-10 over Nikhar Garg and Aniruddha Mayekar. The other Indian pair to advance to the last-16 on the opening day of the tournament was Ponappa and Sikki, who defeated Thailand’s Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard 21-14, 21-12.