Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the Denmark Open in their first round singles competitions on Wednesday. Meanwhile, men’s singles player Sameer Verma made it through to round two, as did the mixed doubles duo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy.
Since claiming the Indonesia Masters in January this year, 29-year-old Saina has struggled with persisting fitness issues. And just like at the China Open and Korea Open — where she also made early exits — earlier this year, the experience in Odense proved to be a rather sour one. World No. 12 Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi needed only 37 minutes to send last year’s runner up and World No.8 packing (21-15, 23-21).
In the men’s category, former champion Kidambi Srikanth was brushed aside by fourth seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark 14-21 18-21 in a match that lasted 43 minutes. Antonsen has come a long way since Srikanth beat him at the 2017 World Championships, having reached the finals of this year’s World Championships in Switzerland.
Antonsen had also won the Indonesia Masters, Barcelona Spain Masters, European Games and made it to the finals at Indonesia Open Super 1000 this year, before facing off against Srikanth. Sameer, on the other hand, made light work of his opponent, Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama, beating him 21-11 21-11 in 29 minutes to advance to the second round.
While the mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy won their first-round clash against the German duo of Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler 21-16 21-11, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa conceded a walk over to the second-seeded Chinese pair of Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping.