India’s top-ranked male shuttler Srikanth Kidambi was off to a winning start at the BWF Badminton World Championships in Glasgow on Monday, easing past his Russian opponent Sergey Sirant 21-13 21-12 in 28 minutes.
At the time of writing, after seven matches involving Indian players, only one match ended in defeat on what turned out to be a good opening day. The doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy lost to lower ranked opponents from Korea in their first round.
Taking to the court a little later than anticipated because of delays in the previous mixed doubles match on his court, Srikanth did not show any signs of rustiness to go past the 70th ranked Russian in straight games. This is his 11th win a row on the circuit after winning back-to-back Superseries titles in Indonesia and Australia last month.
Against the left-handed Sirant, the world No. 8 kept the rallies short and did not exert himself too much, taking an early lead and holding on to it both games. The first game lasted 12 minutes, with Srikanth establishing early control at the net and using his jump smash and drop shots in a good mix. Sirant grew in confidence as the match progressed and showed signs of a fightback in the second game but Srikanth did not let up, wrapping the match up in quick time.
Srikanth will now take on Frenchman Lucas Corvee in the second round.
In the other match in the men’s singles draw, Sameer Verma (ranked 29) wrapped up his first match in double-quick time, defeating Spain’s Pablo Abian in less than 30 minutes.
Mixed doubles success
In the mixed doubles first round match, India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and K Maneesha completed a comeback win against higher-ranked opponents from Hong Kong in perhaps the most satisfying result of the opening day for India. Chun Hei Tam and Tsz Yau NG, the 55th ranked pair, were defeated 24-22 21-17 in 44 minutes by the 77th ranked Indian duo. The first game was a topsy-turvy affair with the Indians trailing 13-18 but they turned it around and took the second game with relative ease.
The Indo-Malaysian pair of Prajakta Sawant and Yogendra Khrishnan also won their first round fixture in mixed doubles, and will play the all-Indian duo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy next, who received a first round bye.
Fighting win for Tanvi
The first of the women’s singles players in action at the Worlds, Tanvi Lad came from behind after losing her first game to win 17-21 21-10 21-19 in 56 minutes against England’s Chloe Birch. The decider was a tightly fought affair with the Indian girl hanging on to record a thrilling win.
Other results of the day.
At the time of updating, only Rituparna Das is left to feature from India on day one in Glasgow.
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