The Indians had a day out at the French Open Superseries as Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and HS Prannoy all won their first-round matches on Wednesday. On the other hand, Parupalli Kashyap crashed out at the first hurdle after losing to Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting.
2017 BWF World Championship bronze medallist Saina faced an unlikely spirited challenge from Denmark's Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt, but thanks to her superb temperament, she came out triumphant with a 21-14, 11-21, 21-10 margin in an enduring 50-minute contest. The Indian will now play Denmark Open runners-up Akane Yamaguchi in a bid to exact revenge for the quarterfinal loss at Odense.
PV Sindhu, who crashed out in the first round of the Denmark Open after losing to Chen Yufei, got a comparatively easy draw
In the men's singles matches, US Open champion HS Prannoy, who had reached the quarterfinals at Odense, downed Denmark Open finalist Korea's 37-year-old Lee Hyun Il 21-15 21-17, while Praneeth managed to leave behind his opening round exit worries last week with a hard-fought 21-13 21-23 21-19 win over Thailand's Khosit Phetpradab.
Prannoy will face rising Danish star Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in the second round as Praneeth prepares for qualifier Kenta Nishimoto, who extended the woes of three-time Olympic silver medallist and current World No. 7 Lee Chong Wei by beating him 21-14 21-15 in the opening round. Five-time Superseries champion Srikanth Kidambi proceeded to the second round after his German opponent Fabian Roth retired when the Indian was leading 3-0 in the first game.
Though it was a good day for the Indian contingent as a whole, things turned south for Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap. Despite putting up a gallant fight, the 31-year-old suffered a narrow 23-21 18-21 17-21 loss to Indonesia's rising star Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who has won the Korea Open this season.
The dismal run of the doubles duo of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy's further stretched to another Superseries on Wednesday as they lost 11-21 13-21 to Russian pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov. The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy shared a similar fate as they went down 15-21, 12-21 to fourth-seeded Indonesians Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.
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