PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal lead Indian advance at Australian Open
PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth advanced to the second round of the $750,000 Australian Open Superseries in Sydney on Wednesday.other sports Updated: Jun 21, 2017 16:51 IST
Indian shuttlers had a mixed day at the $750,000 Australian Open Superseries as Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and B. Sai Praneeth progressed to their respective second rounds in Sydney on Wednesday. However, several other compatriots were knocked out of the first round.
Srikanth, who won the Indonesia Open Superseries Premier on Sunday, continued his good form by defeating Chinese Taipei’s Kan Chao Yu 21-13, 21-16 in the men’s singles opening round while Sai Praneeth had to sweat it out to register a hard-fought 10-21, 21-12, 21-10 win over Indonesia’s top player Tommy Sugiarto.
Srikanth will next play top seed Son Wan Ho of South Korea while Sai Praneeth will be up against Huang Yuxiang of China.
In women’s singles, Saina was up against a tough opponent in fourth seed Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea but the former world No.1 showed her master class to beat her opponent in straight games, winning 21-10, 21-16.
Later in the day, fifth seed PV Sindhu had to fight it out against Japan’s Sayaka Sato as the Hyderabadi won 21-17, 14-21, 21-18 in an hour and five minutes at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.
However, it was curtains for HS Prannoy, who lost in the semi-finals in Indonesia, Ajay Jayaram, Parupalli Kashyap and Siril Verma in the men’s singles first round and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde in women’s singles.
Up against seventh seed Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong, Jayaram fought hard before losing 14-21, 21-10, 21-9.
Returning from injury, Kashyap too gave Son Wan Ho a run for his money before losing the duel 21-18, 14-21, 21-15 in an energy-sapping match that lasted more than an hour.
Young Siril Verma was shown the door by Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 16-21, 8-21 while Prannoy lost 19-21, 13-21 against Rajiv Ouseph of England.
Ruthvika, on the other hand, went down to China’s Chen Xiaoxin 21-17, 12-21, 21-12 in an hour.
Indian doubles pairs also witnessed mixed results.
The men’s doubles pair of Francis Alwin and Tarun Kona lost in the opening round 17-21, 15-21 to Indonesian-Malaysian combination of Hendra Setiawan and Boon Heong Tan. Later, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy were knocked out 20-22, 6-21 by third seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan.
However, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Hong Kong pairing of Law Cheuk Him and Lee Chun Hei Reginald 20-22, 21-19, 21-11.
Ashwini Ponnappa also had a mixed day.
While in women’s doubles, Ashwini, along with N Sikki Reddy, beat Australia combine of Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen and Jennifer Tam 21-11, 21-13, the 2011 World Championship bronze medallist lost with Rankireddy to Hong Kong combination of Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah 13-21, 17-21 in 34 minutes.
(With inputs from PTI)