New Delhi: In what was a mixed day for the country’s top shuttlers at the $350,000 Indian Open, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu advanced to the second round while HS Prannoy knocked himself out in the opening round after being forced to play with foot corns.
With the Badminton World Federation (BWF) making it mandatory for all the top shuttlers to play atleast 12 tournaments in a calendar year, Prannoy took the court despite developing foot corns but lasted just 13 minutes eventually losing 4-21, 6-21 to compatriot Shreyansh Jaiswal.
“I had to participate in the India Open because of the new BWF rule of mandatory 12 tournaments. I couldn’t even concede the match because I have a compatriot as opponent and according to BWF rules, if you concede against the same country opponent, you won’t get ranking points, so I had to play though I am in no position to play,” he said later.
But there was no stopping the Indian women’s duo of Nehwal and Sindhu who upstaged their opponents in straight sets to progress.
While the 27 year-old Saina who just recently made it to the finals of the Indonesia Open after returning from an ankle injury defeated Sofie Holmboe Dahl of Denmark 21-15, 21-19, defending champion Sindhu had little trouble in dumping another Danish player Natalia Koch Rohde 21-10, 21-13.
Saina will next face Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt, while the 22 year-old Rio Olympics silver-medallist take on Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri.
Meanwhile, playing his first tournament of the season after missing the Indonesia Open, second seed Kidambi Srikanth overcame Malaysia’s Lee Cheuk Yiu 21-17, 21-18 and will face another Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain in the second round.
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap also forayed into the second round after defeating world No 17 Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus 21-14, 21-18.
In the doubles matches, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy defeated the Indonesian pair of Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja 16-21, 21-17, 21-17, while Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa prevailed over Raju Mohamed Rehan and J Anees Kowsar 21-9, 21-10.