New Delhi [India], January 11 (ANI): Kidambi Srikanth registered a convincing victory in the opening round of the India Open, which is part of the BWF World Tour 500 tournament series, at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall on Tuesday.
In men’s singles, Siril Verma threatened to take the match to Srikanth by closing the gap at 9-9 following a slow start. But once the world championships silver medallist stepped on the pedal and began controlling the rallies, the result was a foregone conclusion. Srikanth won by 21-17, 21-10.
“First rounds are really tough and especially when you are playing a fellow Indian are much tougher,” said Srikanth while explaining the time needed to get going in the opening game.
Srikanth will now face Denmark’s Kim Brunn, who defeated India’s Subhankar Dey 21-19, 18-21, 21-14 in one hour and 15 minutes.
In another men’s singles match Sameer Verma defeated his brother Sourabh Verma 21-7, 21-7. The main attraction of opening day’s action was obviously Loh, who is playing his first tournament since clinching the world title. The fifth seed clearly struggled to find his rhythm in the opening game and was seen talking to himself during the initial exchanges to try and push himself.
He never looked in control in that game but suddenly changed gears in the second game and raced to a 10-0 lead before dropping the first point of the game. In the decider, Sheng managed to keep pace with the Singaporean till 6-6 before Loh bagged 10 of the next 12 points to take control of the match. Loh will face Malaysia’s Joo Ven Soong in the second round on Thursday.
Earlier, India’s Ashmita Chaliha overcame her own anxiety and a late fightback from her opponent to upset fifth seed Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 24-22, 21-16.
In the day’s other matches in the opening session, K Sai Prateekh and Gayatri Gopichand defeated Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Castro 21-16, 16-21, 21-17 while men’s doubles top seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan got their campaign off to a winning start by beating Prem Singh Chouhan and Rajesh Verma 21-18, 21-10.
In the women’s doubles first-round encounter, former junior national champions Ritika Thaker and Simran Singh fought back after losing the opening game to beat Mariia Stoliarenko and Yelyzaveta Zharka of Ukraine 14-21, 22-20, 21-19 to advance to the second round. (ANI)