Top India shuttlers, including double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and World Championships silver and bronze winners Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, progressed to the second round of the German Open, here on Tuesday.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and former top-10 player HS Prannoy also made impressive starts at the Super 300 badminton tournament.
Sindhu, the seventh seed, trounced Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-8, 21-7 in a lop-sided contest after Srikanth, seeded eighth, saw off France’s Brice Leverdez 21-10, 13-21, 21-7 in 48 minutes.
It was Sindhu’s 15th win over the world No.11 Thai player, while Srikanth too extended his head-to-head count over Leverdez to 4-0 after this victory.
Later in the day, Sen, who had claimed the India Open title in January, dished out a superb performance to outwit Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-6, 22-20. Saina, who has been struggling with fitness issues for most part of last year and early this year, had to dig deep to stave off a challenge from Spain’s Clara Azurmendi with a 21-15, 17-21, 21-14 win.
On a comeback trail, Prannoy, who had reached the quarter finals of the World Championships, also made a winning start, beating Ng Ka Long Angus 21-14, 21-19 in 40 minutes.
In the men’s singles match, Srikanth looked in good touch as he zoomed from 6-6 to 19-8 in no time and pocketed the opening game comfortably. Leverdez made a roaring comeback in the second game as he dominated the proceeding and led from the start to finish to make it 1-1.
In the decider, Srikanth found his rhythm back as he made his way to 11-5 at the break and kept his nose ahead to soon jump to 18-7 before sealing it comfortably in the end.