Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal was eliminated in the opening round of the 2021 Denmark Open by Japan’s Aya Ohori after losing straight sets. On the other hand, Lakshya Sen progressed to the second round with an inspiring 21-9, 21-7 win over compatriot Sourabh Verma in the men’s singles event.
Saina Nehwal had a rough year so far, with her failing to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after a series of qualifying events were cancelled owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, she featured in the Uber Cup earlier this month, but pulled out of mid-way during his first-round match due to an injury.
Up against Japan’s Aya Ohori in the opening round of the 2021 Denmark Open, the Indian struggled to find her touch back, as she was convincingly defeated 21-16, 21-14. The 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist was ousted by her opponent in just 34 minutes.
In the men’s singles event, Lakshya Sen scripted a convincing win over compatriot Sourabh Verma, with scores of 21-9, 21-7, thus progressing to the second round. The Indian will face 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Victor Axelsen in the next round.
Meanwhile, HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap failed to overcome the hurdle in their respective opening round fixtures. Prannoy lost to Indonesia’s 2018 Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie in straight sets, while Kashyap pulled out of the match against Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-Chen.
Even in the doubles events’, the Indians were shown the door in opening rounds itself. The experienced duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy was eliminated by former world champions Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan of South Korea 21-17, 21-13. On the other hand, the Indonesian duo of Nita Violina Marwah and Putri Syaikah hammered India’s Meghana and SR Poorvisha with scores of 21-8, 21-7.
In the mixed doubles event, the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponappa staged up a brave fight against China’s Feng Yanzhe and Du Yue, but eventually lost the match 17-21, 21-14, 11-21.