All England Open 2021, Day 2: Tough challenges for Prannoy, Praneeth and Sameer Verma; Sindhu has it easyย 

Sameer Verma
Sameer Verma
Sohinee Basu

After a bittersweet start, the action is set to pick up on Day 2 of the All England Open 2021. With Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal, and Parupalli Kashyap exiting the tournament already, the focus has now shifted to the remaining shuttlers in the fray.

PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy, Sai Praneeth, and Sameer Verma are all on the schedule for what is expected to be a thrilling Day 2 in Birmingham.

As the Chinese, Indonesian and Chinese Taipei players are not a part of the All England Open 2021, the Indians should have a relatively easier ride this time around.

However, obstacles still remain, and the second-round matchups are enough to indicate the troubles lying ahead for the Indians.

Prannoy, Praneeth, and Sameer Verma face top 3 seeds at All England Open 2021

B Sai Praneeth
B Sai Praneeth

Having vanquished Parupalli Kashyap 21-13, 22-20 in his opening-round match, the resurgent World No. 1 Kento Momota will now take on HS Prannoy at the All England Open 2021.

The World No. 31 Prannoy did not have much trouble side-stepping Daren Liew in his first-round match. With a 21-10, 21-10 victory in that encounter, the Indian set up a date with Momota. Suffice to say that Prannoy will have a difficult proposition as he has never beaten the Japanese in six previous meetings.

2019 BWF World Championships bronze medalist B Sai Praneeth squared off against Toma Junior Popov in his first round, winning it 21-18, 22-20. With that win, he has now booked a match with the defending champion Viktor Axelsen at the All England Open 2021.

Praneeth has not been able to win against the World No. 2 in three showdowns and therefore, things won't be easy for him either.

Having enjoyed a good run in Thailand in January, Sameer Verma impressed in his first-round match against Brazil's Ygor Coelho with a 21-11, 21-19 win. Next up for the 27th-ranked shuttler is the World No. 3 Anders Antonsen from Denmark.

In their 5 meetings so far, Antonsen has had the last word on 4 occasions while Verma has tasted success against him only once, which was at the 2018 Korea Open. It remains to be seen if Verma can pack a punch as he locks horns with the BWF World Tour Finals champion for the sixth time.

Sindhu expected to cruise into the quarters of All England Open 2021

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu couldn't have asked for a better start to her campaign at the All England Open 2021. With a comprehensive 21-11, 21-17 win against Malaysia's Soniia Cheah, the world champion looked in good shape.

Having finished as the runner-up at the recently-concluded Swiss Open 2021, PV Sindhu exhibited stellar form as she booked a match with Line Christophersen. Although the duo have not met previously, the World No. 7 PV Sindhu is expected to have the upper hand going into the match.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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