World Champion PV Sindhu made an impressive start to her campaign at the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament, claiming a straight-games win over Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the women’s singles competition in Odense on Tuesday.
Fifth seed Sindhu, who had made early exits in China and Korea, got back her bearing as she overcame former World Junior Champion Gregoria 22-20, 21-18 in 38 minutes to keep her 5-0 record intact against the Indonesian.
The Olympic silver medallist will now face Korea’s An Se Young next.
World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth also made it to the second round beating the legendary Lin Dan 21-14, 21-17 in a 35-minute opening round clash. The five-time world champion has been out of form lately and is, in fact, ranked six places lower than Sai Praneeth. This was the Indian’s first win over Lin Dan in three attempts.
The Hyderabad shuttler is likely to meet world No 1 and two-time world champion Kento Momota of Japan next. He had lost to Momota at the World Championships semi-final in Basel, Switzerland.
Thailand Open champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also made a good start to their men’s doubles campaign, beating Korean pair of Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae 24-22, 21-11 in 39 minutes.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, who had reached the semifinals at Korea Open, lost in the opening round after a 13-21, 12-21 defeat to Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin in the men’s singles.
National champion Sourabh Verma, who had clinched the Hyderabad Open and Vietnam Open this year, also made an early exit after going down 21-19 11-21 17-21 to Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands. He was a late addition to the main draw after HS Prannoy’s withdrawal.
In the final match of the day for the Indian contingent, there was a gutsy performance from Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy in the women’s doubles against the women’s doubles top seeds and reigning world champions but Japan’s Matsutomo and Nagahara won 25-23, 21-18 in 45 minutes. The Indians had three game points in the opening game that they could not convert and the Japanese duo were good enough to close the match out in straight games.
(With PTI inputs)