Veteran Kidambi Srikanth, Mithun Manjunath, and the young Sankar Muthusamy led the way as Indian single shuttlers registered five wins in eight matches at the 2024 Thailand Masters Super 300 on Wednesday.
Up against Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Yei, Srikanth was made to work hard for his 22-20, 21-19 straight games win.
Wang, who is ranked two spots below the Indian in the world rankings, had four game points in the first game at 20-16, but failed to capitalise as the former world No 1 went on a six-point winning spree to pocket it 22-20.
Though the Chinese Taipei shuttler saved two match points in the second game, the Indian converted his third to make his way into the pre-quarterfinals.
Earlier in the day, Manjunath cruised to an easy 21-17, 21-8 win over Hong Kong’s Jason Gunawan. The Indian went on a five-point run while trailing 6-8 in the first game and never looked up.
Manjunath needed just 40 minutes to wrap up the match as the lower ranked Gunawan struggled to keep up in the second game.
The 2022 BWF World Junior Championships silver medallist Sankar Muthusamy, on the other hand, beat a higher ranked Leong Jun Hao of Malaysia 21-14, 21-17 in straight games.
The 70th ranked Indian never looked in trouble as he maintained his early lead in both games to win in 46 minutes against the world No 37.
In the women’s singles section, both Malvika Bansod and Ashmita Chaliha made their way into the Round of 16.
While Bansod defeated Ines Castillo Salazar of Peru 22-20, 21-8 in 33 minutes, Chaliha went past Malaysia’s Wong Ling Ching 21-10, 21-16 in only 28 minutes.
India’s first loss of the day came as Imad Farooqui Samiya went down 14-21, 18-21 to the experienced Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in women’s singles Round of 32.
Sameer Verma, who made the men’s singles main draw after twin wins in the qualification round on Tuesday, lost out to Ng Ka Long Angus 14-21, 18-21 in 38 minutes.
On the other hand, Kiran George – who had impressed with his run at the Indonesia Masters last week, retired midway from his contest against Lei Lan Xi of China.