The Indian women’s doubles pair of Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa and men’s singles shuttler Lakshya Sen made a winning start at the 2024 All England Badminton Championships on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Priyanshu Rajawat exited the tournament in the opening round after a 19-21, 21-11, 9-21 loss to Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo.

Crasto and Ponnappa took 36 minutes to beat the Hong Kong pair of Yeung Nga Ting and Yeung Pui Lim 21-13, 21-18 in their opening women’s doubles match, while Sen needed 40 minutes to beat his Danish opponent Magnus Johannesen 21-14, 21-14.

The Indian duo were thoroughly dominant in the opening game, leading 11-5 at the mid-game interval. This lead grew after the break, as Crasto-Ponnappa won five points on the trot to extend the difference to 14-5.

The Hong Kong pair were outclassed by the quick thinking of Ponnappa who manned the backline while Crasto was steady at the net and in control of the exchanges that saw Yeung and Yeung commit many errors.

Although there was a little hiccup for the Indian pair with their opponents saving two game points, they rallied to close out the opening game 21-13.

The second game began more closely with the pair of Yeungs taking the challenge to the Indians. This time round, they didn’t allow Crasto and Ponnappa to hold serve for long, levelling the game at 4-all and 16-all after much effort.

Even at the mid-game interval when the Indians led 11-7, the Hong Kong pair were innovative and forced Ponnappa and Crasto to commit a few errors in between.

The desperation that the Hong Kong pair showed after reaching 16-all was evident when one of the players stretched to try to return Ponnappa’s shot, but conceded the point to the Indians.

After that, a three-point winning streak saw the Indians reach match point and win the opening encounter 21-13, 21-18.

Later in the first half of the opening game, Sen and Johannesen both kept abreast of each other. At 8-all, Sen went on a four-point winning streak and got ahead of the game by using a selection of net play and smashes that left the Danish shuttler trailing behind.

In one instance, Johannesen was so frustrated with being unable to reach the shuttle for the return that he dropped his racket and kicked the shuttle into the net instead.

Sen, however, looked very comfortable as he won three consecutive points on two separate occasions and closed out the opening game 21-14.

The second game began in a different manner than the first one as Sen soon raced to a 7-2 lead and continued to dominate the exchanges, not allowing Johannesen to execute his control.

However, Johannesen recovered and managed to enter the mid-game interval trailing 8-11 to the Indian. Although the Danish shuttler didn’t allow Sen to build a sizeable lead, the Indian continued to employ the same tactics as he did in the opening game and ultimately closed out the match 21-14, 21-14 to move into the second round.

Rajawat began his match against Wardoyo well enough to take a decisive lead in the opening exchanges until 8-all and then 9-all. The Indonesian has a slim lead of 11-9 at the mid-game interval, but the Indian didn’t allow him to extend it further, recovering to level the scoreline at 16-all.

While Rajawat then ended up taking the lead once again in the game, Wardoyo bounced back to take the scoreline to 19-all and then seal the opening game 21-19.

The second game began in startlingly opposing fashion with Wardoyo winning four straight points before a brief period where both players exchanged serves until 9-all.

What then followed was an astonishing 10-point winning streak where Rajawat surged ahead in the distance. At 19-9, Wardoyo managed to win two more points only before the Indian levelled the match at 1-game all by winning the second game 21-11.

However, the same spirit that Rajawat had in the second game was nowhere to be seen in the deciding game as Wardoyo raced to a 11-5 lead at the mid-game interval.

Winning nine points on the trot put the Indonesian in a similar position to the Indian in the previous game, with a sizeable lead at 16-5. Although Rajawat was able to win four more points after that streak, it was too little too late for the Indian who lost 19-21, 21-11, 9-21 and exited the tournament.

In the late night matches, India’s star men’s doubles team, top seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Indonesia’s Mohammed Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-18, 21-14.

The women’s doubles team of sisters Rituparna and Swetaparna Panda lost 9-21, 9-21 to Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi of Japan in the last match of the day featuring Indian players.