India’s Kiran George scripted a stunning straight-game win over world No. 9 Shi Yuqi of China but double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu made an opening round exit from the Thailand Open Super 500 tournament here on Wednesday.
Ashmita Chaliha and Saina Nehwal also made winning starts in women’s singles, while Lakshya Sen and world No. 4 pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also progressed to the pre-quarter finals.
On a day when Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth also failed to cross the opening hurdle, 2022 Odisha Open winner Kiran, a product of the Prakash Padukone academy, notched up a 21-18, 22-20 win over third seed Shi Yu Qi, who is a 2018 World Championships silver medallist.
Kiran will take on China’s Weng Hong Yang next.
His academy mate Lakshya also dug deep to eke out a hard-fought 21-23, 21-15, 21-15 win over Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei.
Commonwealth Games champion and top seeds Satwik and Chirag too had to work hard to outwit the Danish combination of Rasmus Kjaer and Frederik Sogaard 21-13, 18-21, 21-17 in a thrilling match.
A former world champion, Sindhu, however, went down fighting 8-21, 21-18, 18-21 to Canada’s Michelle Li in a 62-minute match.
In other matches, Ashmita, who came through the qualifiers, beat compatriot Malvika Bansod 17-21, 14-21 while London Olympics bronze medallist Saina defeated Canada’s Wen Yu Zhang 21-13, 21-7.
Ashmita will next face Rio Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin.
Srikanth, the 2021 World Championships silver medallist, lost 8-21, 21-16, 14-21 against China’s Weng Hong Yang, who had reached the final of Malaysia Masters last week.
Praneeth, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics, also found France’s Christo Popov too hot to handle, going down 14-21, 16-21 in another match.
Orleans Masters winner Priyanshu Rajawat too couldn’t cross the opening hurdle, going down 19-21, 10-21 to Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong.
Former world No. 11 Sameer Verma, who had won the Slovenia Open recently, went down 15-21, 15-21 to Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen.
Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam lost to Korea’s third seed Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee 11-21, 6-21 in women’s doubles.