PV Sindhu and Sai Praneeth advanced to the second round of the Denmark Open with wins in straight games, while Korea Open semi-finalist Parupalli Kashyap crashed out. Among the doubles, the duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won their duel, also in straight games, on Tuesday.
In the first round of matches in Odense, India had a mixed bag of results in the singles and doubles categories. While Kashyap was brushed aside by Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin in straight games 13-21, 12-21, Sourabh Verma was pegged back by Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands who won 21-19, 11-21, 17-21. Praneeth, however, made light work of multiple World and Olympic champion Lin Dan of China, crushing him 21-14, 21-17.
Sindhu, on the other hand, fought her way back in both games to register a hard-fought 38-minute victory against Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska 22-20, 21-18. After her stunning exit in the first round at the Korea Open last month, she was found trailing 13-16 during the first game and was even forced to save a game point at 19-20 in Denmark as well.
However, the World champion then won three straight points to clinch the first game. In the second game as well, Sindhu recovered from 6-9 and later on from 16-17 to secure the win. The world No.6 Indian will meet the world No.19 An Se Young of South Korea, for the first time ever, in the pre-quarterfinals on Thursday. Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal, the other Indian in women’s singles, will begin her campaign on Wednesday.
In the men’s doubles, Rankireddy and Shetty overcame the Korean pair of Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae 24-22, 21-11. After a see-saw battle between the two pairs in the first game, the Indians coasted home in the second. They will now face the winners of the tie between Han Cheng Kia and Zhou Hao Dong of China and Danish pair of Mathias Boe and Mads Conrad-Petersen.
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