Australian Open | Mithun Manjunath beats former World Champion Loh Kean Yew in first round
Indian singles shuttlers had a great start to their Australian Open 500 campaign, as a host of them managed to reach the pre-quarters, with some of them causing major upsets along the way. On the other hand, struggling for form, Kidambi Srikanth, and PV Sindhu progressed as well.
In a major upset, WR-50 Mithun Manjunath got the better of WR-7 and former World Champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in straight games 21-19, 21-19. This is, by far the biggest win of his career, one which will give him the confidence to take on bigger players.
Not just that, WR-55 Kiran George progressed into the second round after WR-11 Lakshya Sen retired from the match with the former leading 5-0 in the first game. Meanwhile, the day started on a solid note with WR-31 Priyanshu Rajawat scoring an easy win over little-known local lad Tang N 21-12, 21-16. Now the Indian will be up against Wang TW of Chinese Taipei.
Veterans HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth progressed too. Prannoy beat Lee CY of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 16-21, 21-15. He will face Chi YJ now in the next round. WR-19 Srikanth won his battle against WR-14 Japan's Kenta Nishimoto 21-18, 21-7.
In the women's singles, Aakarshi Kashyap, who has been rather poor on the circuit this year, beat WR-34 Goh Jin Wei of Malaysian 21-15, 21-17. Sindhu, who has had a disappointing year as well, got past Ashmita Chaliha 21-18, 21-13. Both these shuttlers will face off in the second round on Thursday.