Sameer Verma had come to his opening match of the tournament as the second favourite against Shi Yuqi and put up a tremendous fight before eventually running out of fuel. In other games, N Sikki Reddy got the job done with Pranaav Jerry Chopra, but she faltered alongside Ashwini Ponnappa.
Yuqi was always going to be a tough challenge for the Indian shuttler but he did show some fight in the first game as they went toe to toe levelling points of 8-8 before Yuqi managed to open a gap at 11-9 going into the break. And that was enough for the Chinese shuttler to make the difference for a large part of the game as the next time Verma levelled was at 20-20. Yuqi eventually took the game 22-20.
The second game demanded more from Verma and he did exactly that winning it 23-21 after stretching it right to the wire. But, as has been the nature of the game, it took a lot out of the player and by the time the third game came, Verma was done. Yuqi took advantage of it and in the end, it was a fairly easier 21-12 win.
Apart from the men’s singles match, India had two other matches in doubles category on the day. While the first one saw N Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra take on Ireland’s Sam and Chloe Magee, the other one was Sikki teaming up with veteran Ponnappa against Japan's Baek Ha Na and Kim Hye Rin.
The first one was a fairly straightforward victory against the Irish duo as the mixed doubles pair won the match 22-20, 24-22, the women’s duo faltered in the three-setter losing 20-22, 21-17, 20-22 to the Japanese.
Tomorrow would be a huge day for India as they see their biggest hopes, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, and PV Sindhu playing their first knockout matches. While Prannoy takes on Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin, Sindhu takes on Japan’s Aya Ohori, and Srikanth will face Indonesia’s Ihsan Maulana Mustofa. Saina Nehwal, who comes back from her intestinal problem, will face Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong.
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