Tokyo, Aug 22: Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Lakshya Sen continued his dominating run as he cruised to a comfortable win in the opening round of the BWF World Championships that got underway on Monday (Aug 22) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
The Indian men's singles shuttlers put up a dominating show as Sen, along with senior Indian shuttlers, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy marched on with comfortable wins in their respective matches on the opening day of the World Championships. But it was end of the road for Sai Praneeth, who crashed out of the men's singles contest.
The first Indians in action on the opening day of the World Championships, were the women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy. The Indian doubles pair cruised to a comfortable 21-7, 21-9 win over Maldives' Aminath Nabeeha Abdul Razzaq and Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq. Ponnappa and Reddy dominated throughout without letting the Maldivian pair settle in.
The duo won their first round match over the Maldives' shuttlers in straight games in a 21-minute contest.
On the contrary, in the men's singles contest, Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth crashed out of the World Championships. Playing on court 1, Praneeth suffered a first-round exit as he lost to Taiwan's Chou Tien Chen on Monday. The Indian shuttler was off-colour from the onset as he lost the first game, before he fought back to pocket the second and take the game into the decider.
32-year-old Chen bounced back to take the decider and hand Praneeth a 21-15, 15-21, 21-15 loss in a 37-minute contest.
The Indian contingent suffered two back-to-back first round exits, as following Praneeth, it was end of the road for Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy in the men's doubles category. Playing on court 1, the Indian doubles pair, went down fighting in a contest which last just over an hour.
After a listless show in the opening game 11-21 to Japanese pair Hiroki Okamura and Masayuki Onodera, Attri and Reddy fought hard to level the game as they pocketed the second 21-19. But it was all they had left in the tank as the Indian pair lost the third game to crash out of the World Championships. The men's doubles pair were handed a first-round exit as the Japanese shuttlers put up a superior show with a 21-11, 19-21, 21-15 win in a one hour two minute contest.
After the Indian contingent suffered back-to-back losses, India's top shuttler Lakshya Sen clinched a regulation win as he stormed into the second round. In the men's singles category, Sen completely outplayed Denmark's Hans Kristian Solberg Vittinghus.
Having recently won the gold medal in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Sen carried on his tremendous form as he raced to a 21-12 win in the first game. Sen, who turned 21 last week, was in complete control, as he wrapped up the game with a comfortable 21-11 win in the second game. The shuttler from Almora, who has gone up the ranks quickly, handed Vittinghus a 21-12, 21-11 defeat in a thirty-five minute contest on Court 1 on Monday. Sen will next take on L Penalver in the round of 32 contest on Tuesday (Aug 23).
Following Sen's dominating show, Indian men's double's pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila were up next. The doubles pair were made to work hard by Thailand's Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren. After pocketing the first game, the Indian shuttlers lost the second as the game headed into the decider. In a thrilling contest, which lasted an hour and five minutes, the Indian shuttlers came out on top of their Thai opponents, with a 21-17, 17-21, 22-20 win to advance to the next round.
Meanwhile, in the men's singles category, HS Prannoy wrapped up a comfortable opening round win. Prannoy handed Austria's Luka Wraber a 21-12, 21-11 defeat in a 34-minute contest. Prannoy and Sen won their opening rounds by similar scorelines as the men's singles shuttlers dominated the proceedings on the opening day. Prannoy will next take on Kento Momota.
Another Indian shuttler in action on the opening day was Malvika Bansod. In the women's singles category, Bansod suffered a first round exit to Denmark's Line Christophersen. Bansod fell to a 14-21, 12-21 loss to Line in an opening round contest that lasted 27-minutes.
In the mixed doubles category, Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto clinched a straight games win over Germany's Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann. In a 29-minute match on court 4, the Indian pair clinched a 21-12, 21-13 win to march on.
The final Indian in action was Kidambi Srikanth in the men's singles category. The top Indian shuttler faced Ireland's Nhat Nguyen in the opening round contest of the World Championships. In a neck-to-neck contest, 29-year-old Srikanth took the first game 22-20. In contrast, Srikanth was in complete control in the second game as he raced to a 10-2 lead. After leading 11-5 at the break, the Irish shuttler fought back, but the 2021 silver medallist held on to eke out a 21-19 win in the second game.
Srikanth wrapped up a straight games win in the opening round of the World Championships, with a 22-20, 21-19 win over Nguyen in a men's singles contest that lasted 51-minutes.