Thailand Open: Kidambi Srikanth & PV Sindhu advance
Two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu fought her way to the women’s singles second round while Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy, the protagonists of India’s historic Thomas Cup triumph, suffered contrasting fates in the opening round of the Thailand Open here on Wednesday.
Sindhu, seeded sixth and ranked seventh in the world, staved off a spirited challenge from world No. 62, Lauren Lam of the US 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 to set up a clash with Sim Yu Jin, who had played a pivotal role in Korea’s Uber Cup win.
Fresh from playing a major role in the Thomas Cup victory, Srikanth, seeded eighth, produced a gritty show to get the better of Brice Leverdez of France 18-21, 21-10, 21-16 in 49 minutes. The world No. 11 Indian will next face Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen, who defeated Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 21-12, 23-21 in the first round.
Prannoy, who won the decisive third singles during the quarter finals and semi-finals of Thomas Cup, went down 17-21, 21-15, 15-21 to Daren Liew of Malaysia.
It was also curtains for B Sai Preneeth and Sourabh Verma in men’s singles opening round. While Praneeth lost 12-21, 13-21 to Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand, Sourabh was shown the door by Toma Junior Popov of France 20-22, 12-21.
Among other Indians in the fray, Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam beat Thailand’s Kittipak Dubthuk and Prinda Pattanawaritthipan 21-12, 21-17 to enter the second round. London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal battled hard for 50 minutes before losing 21-11, 15-21, 17-21 to Korean Kim Ga Eun in the women’s singles first round.