It turned out to be a yet another fruitful day for India’s singles stars as they eased through their respective encounters of the Badminton World Championship in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Pre-tournament favourite and fourth seed PV Sindhu needed just 49 minutes to ward off the challenge from Korea’s Kim Hyo Min 21-16 21-14 while Ajay Jayaram expectedly brushed aside Luka Wraber of Austria 21-14 21-12 to advance to the second round.

Only Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth needed some time to get into his rhythm but the 25-year-old showed the required composure to hang around till he got going in what was his first ever appearance in the World Championship.

A first-round clash against the veteran Wei Nan was always going to be a difficult challenge for Sai Praneeth as Nan is known to play a very attacking game and the Indian likes to ease into the match with longer rallies.

But on Tuesday, it was the Hong Kong shuttler who began with a strategy to frustrate Sai Praneeth with longer rallies and it did work in the initial stages with the Indian making a flurry of errors while going for attacking shots.

However, regular service was restored after the first break with Sai Praneeth beginning to look more in control and his flicks and net dribbles began to trouble Nan. There was hardly any change in strategy thereafter with the coaches only asking the 15th seed to play more downwards as Nan was ready to pounce on anything that was tossed up and lacked the length to keep him in the back court.

To his credit, Sai Praneeth did just enough to take five of the last six points to wrap up the match in 48 minutes. He now faces Indonesia’s Anthony Gingting in the second round.

“I always knew that the opening match was not going to be easy,” Sai Praneeth said after the match. “He is a very attacking player and I needed some time to control the game. But once I managed that, I thought I could win.”

Sai Praneeth’s next round opponent is a similarly attacking player with some expectional strokes and the Indian knows that he won’t have time to relax against the Indonesian. “I probably have a tough draw among the Indians in the initial rounds. But I think I am prepared for it after putting in two months of training.”

Sindhu happy with the start

Later in the day, Sindhu also looked well prepared for a title charge as she was in complete control against Kim.

After racing to a big lead early on, the Rio Olympics silver medallist was involved in a couple of long rallies against the Korean and the way she always came out on top in those long exchanges would have given her a lot of confidence going forward.

In fact, the Korean looked a bit tired in the later stages of the match but Sindhu wasn’t complaining. “It was a good outing. Both of us played some long rallies and I am happy with the way I played,” she added.

It was also a comfortable win for world No. 17 Ajay Jayaram, as he defeated Austrian Luka Wraber 21-14 21-12 in just 31 minutes. Just like Sindhu earlier, Ajay barely trailed during the match.

Doubles pairs disappoint

While the singles stars began on a winning note, the mixed doubles combinations of Ashwini Ponnappa/B Sumeeth Reddy and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/K Maneesha were knocked out by higher ranked opponents.

To their credit they did put up a fight but it was not enough to stage an upset for both the pairs, who would incidentally not play together after this championship.

Sumeeth and Ashwini, who had reached the finals of Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January, went down 17-21 21-18 5-21 to 13th seeded Chinese pair of Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping, while Satwiksairaj and Maneesha lost 20-22 18-21 to 14th seeded Denmark duo of Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygesen.

Fifteenth seeds Pranaav Chopra and N Sikki Reddy, however, kept the Indian hope alive in the mixed doubles event with a 21-12 21-19 win over compatriot Prajakta Sawant and Malaysia’s Yogendran Krishnan and will now face seventh seed Indonesian combination of Debby Susanto and Praveen Jordan.