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K. Srikanth, Sameer Verma sail through BWF World Championships opener

K. Srikanth and Sameer Verma earned contrasting wins to enter the second round of BWF World Championships in Glasgow on Monday.

other sports Updated: Aug 22, 2017 09:49 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Glasgow
K. Srikanth,BWF World Championships,badminton
India's K. Srikanth returns against Russia's Sergey Sirant during their Round 1 match at the 2017 BWF World Championships at Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Monday.(AFP)

India made a promising start at the BWF World Championships with in-form shuttler Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma advancing to the second round of men’s singles in Glasgow on Monday. (Highlights)

Srikanth, seeded eighth, who won the Indonesia Open Superseries Premier and Australian Open Superseries in June, defeated Russia’s Sergey Sirant 21-13, 21-12 in less than half an hour to set up a clash against France’s Lucas Corvee in the next round.

Sameer Verma, who won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January, also reached the second round after his opponent Spain’s Pablo Abian retired midway with the score reading 21-8, 17-4 in favour of the Indian.

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He will meet either England’s Rajiv Ouseph or Czech Adam Mendrek in the next round.

Another bright spot for India was the performance of Tanvi Lad, who fought back to beat England’s Chloe Birch 17- 21, 21-10, 21-19 in the women’s singles first round.

The young Indian faces a much stiffer challenge next as she runs into second seed Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea.

In other matches of Indian interest, young mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and K Maneesha defeated Hong Kong pair of Tam Chun Hei and Ng Tsz Yau 24-22, 21-17 to also start their campaign on a positive note.

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The Indo-Malaysian pair of Prajakta Sawant and Yogendran Khrishnan saw off Chinese Taipei’s Lu Ching Yao and Chiang Kai Hsin 21-15, 13-21, 21-18 in another mixed doubles match.

In men’s singles, it was a nervy start for Srikanth as he missed a few points but his smart play at the net and some precise smashes helped the Indian to enter the break at 11-6.

After the interval, the Indian kept increasing the distance, reaching 15-7 and eventually sealed the opening game with ease.

In the second game, Srikanth once again zoomed ahead to 11-5 after an initial duel. The duo engaged in some exciting rallies but the Indian was always ahead.

Srikanth eventually held a comfortable eight match points advantage when his rival hit the net. Sirant’s next return also found the net as Srikanth sealed the match comfortably.

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“I had a decent break after the Indonesia Open and I worked hard after that before coming in here. First rounds can always be tough in big championships like this and I am happy that I came through it. It is a confidence booster,” said Srikanth.

“I have not set any targets as such, I just want to play and I want to go match by match. I did not think about the second round before this match and now I am only thinking about the next match.”

Later, South Korean men’s doubles pair of Chung Eui Seok and Kim Dukyoung defeated Indian pairing of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy 22-20, 21-11 in 34 minutes.

However, Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil advanced after beating Ukraine’s women’s doubles combo of Natalya Voytsekh and Yelyzaveta Zharka 21-15, 21-18 in 43 minutes.

PV Sindhu will open her campaign on Tuesday, having got a bye in the first round.

Meanwhile, Rituparna Das moved into Round of 32 as her first round opponent Airi Mikkela retired at 0-2 down in 1st game.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 20:40 IST