Top Indian badminton players Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy got their campaign off to a winning start at the BWF World Championships with straight-game victories in men's singles at the 9,000-seater Istora Senayan stadium in Jakarta on Monday.
Doubles pairings of Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy, as well as Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Chopra earned hard-fought wins to also advance at the annual event. However, the Indian mixed doubles teams of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan, as well as Tarun Kona and N Sikki Reddy, lost their respective opening encounters.
Tenth seed Kashyap took just 31 minutes to move past Dutchman Erik Meijs 21-17, 21-10. With the win, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion extended his winning streak over Meijs to 2-0. Next up, the 28-year-old Hyderabad resident will take on Vietnam's 2013 Worlds bronze medallist Nguyen Tien Minh, who has a 4-4 record against Kashyap.
"Today it was an OK match. Just felt the conditions were tough at the start but got a good rhythm at the end. The opponent played well at the start. Next match will be tougher, so need to prepare well for it," said Kashyap.
Later, 11th seed Prannoy also had an easy win, coming out on top 21-12, 21-16 over Brazil's Alex Yuwan Tjong in 31 minutes. This was World No 12 Prannoy's first match against the World No 109 Brazilian. The Kerala shuttler will next play Edwin Ekiring of Uganda. "Good to be back to winning days after injury. I was rusty in the second game but had to change the game a bit to attacking mode and then I got my rhythm back. Good first round for me," said Prannoy.
"Need to trust myself and enjoy the next round too, without taking extra pressure. Never played him (Edwin Ekiring) but he is a good player. Cannot take him easily and I need to be on my toes day after."
Gadre and Reddy had a contrasting win later in the day. They beat German combine Isabel Herttrich and Birgit Michels 16-21, 21-15, 21-14 in 50 minutes. In Round 2, the Indian women's doubles pair will take on Japanese 14th seeds Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito.
In the men's doubles first round, Chopra and Dewalkar defeated Russians Nikita Khakimov and Vasily Kuznetsov 17-21, 21-11, 21-11 in 44 minutes. They will next take on Danish 10th seeds Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding.
In mixed doubles action, Vishnu and Balan lost to Russians Evgenij Dremin and Evgenia Dimova 18-21, 21-10, 22-24 in a tough, 49-minute match.
Kona and Reddy also lost their first round match, going down 13-21, 17-21 to Chinese Taipei's Liao Min Chun and Chen Hsiao Huan in 28 minutes.
Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, India Super Series winner Kidambi Srikanth and two-time bronze medal winner PV Sindhu will begin their campaign on Tuesday.