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Yonex-Sunrise India Open: Srikanth, Sindhu ease through as World Champion Loh pushed to three games

India Open: Srikanth, Sindhu in round 2

New Delhi, January 11: World champion Loh Kean Yew was stretched to three games while home favourites Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu registered convincing victories in the opening round of Yonex-Sunrise India Open, which is part of the HSBC BWF World Tour 500 tournament series, at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall on Tuesday (January 11).

Loh defeated Canada's Xiaodong Sheng 16-21, 21-4, 21-13 while Srikanth packed off former junior world No. 1 Siril Verma 21-17, 21-10 to advance to the second round.

Earlier, women's singles top seed PV Sindhu hardly broke any sweat during her 21-5, 21-16 win over compatriot Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli in just under half an hour.

Sindhu toyed with Krishna Priya in the opening game. Though she relaxed a bit in the second, the former world champion never needed to hit top gear during the 27-minute encounter.

"First match is always important and I did not take it easy. I went with the flow and finished it off," she said after the match.

In men's singles, Verma threatened to take the match to Srikanth by closing the gap at 9-9 following a slow start. But once the world championships silver medallist stepped on the pedal and began controlling the rallies, the result was a forgone conclusion.

"First rounds are really tough and especially when you are playing a fellow Indian are much tougher," said Srikanth while explaining the time needed to get going in the opening game.

Srikanth will now face Denmark's Kim Brunn, who defeated India's Subhankar Dey 21-19, 18-21, 21-14 in one hour and 15 minutes.

The main attraction of opening day's action was obviously Loh, who is playing his first tournament since clinching the world title. The fifth seed clearly struggled to find his rhythm in the opening game and was seen talking to himself during the initial exchanges to try and push himself.

He never looked in control in that game but suddenly changed gears in the second game and raced to a 10-0 lead before dropping the first point of the game. In the decider, Sheng managed to keep pace with the Singaporean till 6-6 before Loh bagged 10 of the next 12 points to take control of the match.

Loh will face Malayasia's Joo Ven Soong in the second round on Thursday.

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Story first published: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 16:55 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 11, 2022