World No 4 PV Sindhu, Singapore Open champion Sai Praneeth, and US Open finalist P Kashyap all recorded facile victories in their opening-round encounters at the Korea Open Superseries. However, US Open champion HS Prannoy stumbled at the first hurdle after going down to world No 9 NG Ka Long Angus in three games.
Fifth seed Sindhu was barely troubled in her 21-13, 21-8 win over Hong Kong’s Ngan Yi Cheung in a match that lasted just 33 minutes. Kashyap, who had come through two rounds of qualifying to enter the main draw, also had a straightforward 21-13, 21-26 win over Chinese Taipei’s HSU Jen Hao. Sai Praneeth, meanwhile, needed only 28 minutes to dispatch Hong Kong’s Hu Yun 21-15, 21-10.
Prannoy, who was unseeded for the tournament, drew one of the shorter straws in the draw as he was pitted against the sixth seed Angus in the first round itself. The 25-year-old gave the Malaysia Masters winner a right fight for the first two games before going down 21-17, 21-23, 21-14 in one hour and five minutes.
Two other matches involving Indian men also went to three games, each popping up contrasting results. While Sameer Verma recorded an upset over eighth seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand, winning 21-13, 21-23, 21-9 in 55 minutes, Sourabh Verma’s luck went the other way as he was ousted by Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto 18-21, 21-13, 21-19 in 63 minutes.
In doubles, India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty battled for 50 minutes before getting past Chinese Taipei’s Sheng Mu Lee and Chia Yu Lin 21-9 22-24 21-12. Satwik, however, lost his mixed doubles first-round tie with Ashwini Ponappa as the duo were beaten 21-18, 21-19 by Hong Kong’s Chun Man Tang and Ying Suet Tse.
Mannu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also lost their first-round encounter against local pair Eui Seok Chung and Duk Young Kim 21-11, 21-10. Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy also lost their women’s doubles match against Malaysian pair Fie Cho Soong and Jing Yi Tee in three games 19-21, 21-13, 21-17.