India’s No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Srikanth Kidambi progressed to the second round of China Open Super 750 badminton tournament in Fuzhou with a straight-games win over France’s Lucas Corvee on Wednesday.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty continued their fine run of form as well, defeating seventh seeds Mads Pieler Kolding and Mads Conrad-Petersen 23-21, 24-22 in 53 minutes in the opening round of men’s doubles event.
Against the experienced Danish veterans, Satwik and Chirag won two incredibly tight games. With neither pair winning more than four points on the trot in the opening game, it was all level at 18-18 before Satwik and Chirag had two game points. They would spurn one more after that as Kolding and Conrad-Petersen kept fighting, before the Indians converted their fourth game point.
It was similar in the second game but this time around Satwik and Chirag almost blew a 13-8 lead as the Danish duo fought back to go 18-17 up. And much like the first game, Satwik and Chirag clinched the game (and the match) on the fourth match point.
The youngsters made history last week by becoming the first Indian men’s doubles badminton pair to reach the semi-finals of a tournament as high in stature as a World Tour Super 750 (formerly Superseries), at the French Open.
Satwik and Chirag will face Indonesia’s Wahyu Nayaka Arya and Ade Yusuf Santoso in the second round.
Read: After a long gruelling season, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj finally have a plan B
Fifth seed Kidambi Srikanth beat unseeded Corvee 21-12, 21-16 in a match that lasted 35 minutes. He will face Tommy Sugiarto next.
On way to his third win over world no 42 Corvee, Srikanth displayed good command over his game as he erased an initial 1-4 deficit to lead 11-7 at the break of the opening game. He then extended his stranglehold over his rival to pocket the game comfortably.
In the second game, Corvee showed fighting spirit for a while as he moved neck and neck with Srikanth till 7-7. After that the Indian grabbed a 11-9 advantage at the interval and then kept increasing his lead to eventually shut the door on the French.
In an earlier match on Thursday, Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong beat India’s Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka 21-12, 21-16 to leave PV Sindhu as the sole contender in the women’s singles draw.
In the opening game, Srikanth did not concede the lead after 5-5. He kept pulling away, winning six consecutive points at one stage. The second game was a tighter affair, with the players exchanging serves regularly early on. From 7-7 and then 10-8, Srikanth went about closing the match out in straight games, couple of points at a time. He clinched the tie on his third match point.
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Earlier, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa went down 21-18, 19-21, 17-21 to Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh in the first round.
HS Prannoy, returning to the tour after an injury lay-off, then lost to Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie 11-21, 14-21 in 33 minutes. It was a tough fixture for Prannoy against the Asian Games gold medallist and he couldn’t keep his errors down, losing in straight games.
On Wednesday, third seed PV Sindhu also moved into the second round with a straight-games win. She cruised past Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia in the opening round. Sindhu will take on the unseeded Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the second round.
(With PTI inputs)