Indian badminton players Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy made an impressive start to their mixed doubles campaign at the Swiss Open BWF Super-300 tournament by defeating second seeds Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in the opening round.
In what was their second successive victory over the Indonesian pair, Ashwin and Satwik won 21-18, 21-10 in a 38-minute encounter in Basel on Tuesday.
The first game of the match was by far the more competitive one. Both pairs exchanged blows consistently and the score was locked at 16-16, before the Indians raised their game up a notch to bag three straight points.
Ashwini and Satwik then carried forward the momentum and kept their nose ahead in the second game from the start. They led 11-6 at the mid-game interval, before closing out the win comfortably.
Satwik and Ashwini, who has been training under new foreign coach Mathias Boe for the last one month, will now face Indonesia’s Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari in the second round.
However, there was heartbreak for the other Indian pair in the mixed doubles draw. N Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra put in a valiant effort but went down 18-21, 15-21 to third seeds Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of England.
Indian players competing in the men’s singles and doubles along with women’s singles categories will play their opening round matches on Wednesday.
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