India’s HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth reached the second round of the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier on Wednesday with contrasting wins in their opening fixtures.
Prannoy defeated local boy Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in straight games in 42 minutes, eking out a 21-13, 21-18 win in the first round. He will take on top seed Lee Chong Wei in the second round.
Prannoy, ranked 29th in the world, won the first game with relative ease against his opponent ranked nine rungs above him. Ginting put up a better fight in the second game and was leading 17-11 at one point, before Prannoy won an incredible nine points in a row and went on to take the game 21-18.
The 24-year-old Indian is playing his first tournament after a three-month break because of a back injury.
Later in the day, Srikanth then staved off a challenge from Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent 21-15 17-21 21-16 in a 56-minute match. He is likely to clash with fourth seeded Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark next.
Coming into the match with a 1-2 head-to-head record, Srikanth made sure he left after levelling their score. The Indian dished out a gritty game as he fought hard from the start, before breaking off at 7-7 in the opening game to eventually earn the bragging rights.
In the second, Wong opened up a 7-3 lead and kept his distance despite some tough competition from Srikanth, who had narrowed down the deficit to 16-18. But Wong sealed the game and roared back into contest. In the decider, Srikanth fought back from 6-8 and 11-13 down to reel off six straight points at 14-14 to eventually comfortably seal the match in his favour.
It wasn’t a good day in the office for Thailand Grand Prix Gold champion B Sai Praneeth, though. The 15th-ranked Indian lost to world No 1 and second seed Son Wan Ho of Korea 14-21, 18-21 in 40 minutes.
Praneeth was going neck and neck with Son in the first game, the score being 11-9 to the Korean at the halfway point. However, the Indian lost eight points in a row in the second half to lose the game 14-21. In the second game as well, Praneeth kept up with his top-ranked opponent till the score was tied 14-all. However, he collapsed again from there, losing five points in a row as Son went on to clinch the game and match.
In the men’s doubles, India faced further disappointment as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost to Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto 9-21, 19-21 in the first round. It was also curtains for Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy after the duo suffered a 21-19 19-21 13-21 loss to the Indonesia combo of Dian Fitriani and Nadya Melati.