Malaysia Masters Badminton 2020: Saina, Sindhu advance; Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth lose in first round
The BWF Malaysia Masters 2020 is currently taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Super 500 tournament started on January 7th and will run till January 12th.
The Indian contingent had a mixed second day of the tournament with some results going their way and others not as much. In the Women's singles category, PV Sindhu won her match against Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 21-15, 21-13 in just thirty-five minutes. As a result, she will be facing World No.19 Aya Ohori of Japan in the second round.
On the other hand, Saina Nehwal defeated qualifier Lianne Tan of Belgium 21-15, 21-7 in just thirty-six minutes. She will be facing South Korea's rising star and eighth seed in the tournament An Se Young, in the second round. It will be interesting to see how it pans out considering Saina had lost her last encounter against the young Korean competitor.
In the Men's Singles category, big names like Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth lost their opening encounters. Kidambi Srikanth lose was the worst loss of the day. Playing against world number two Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, Srikanth lost the match 17-21, 5-21 in exactly thirty minutes.
This loss can prove costly in Srikanth's dream of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics as April 26 is the last day for Olympics qualifications. On the other hand, 2019 World Championship Bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth lost his match tamely against World No.19 Rasmus Gemke of Denmark by 11-21,15-21. Parupalli Kashyap proved to be no match against World No.1 Kento Momota of Japan as he lost the match by 17-21,16-21 in forty-three minutes.
Reversing this trend of loses for Indians were Sameer Verma and HS Prannoy. Both shuttlers won their respective matches in straight games. Sameer Verma defeated Thailand's youngster Kantaphon Wangcharoen by 21-16, 21-15 in forty-seven minutes.
On the other hand, HS Prannoy defeated World No.10 Japanese Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan 21-19,21-17 in thirty-four minutes. Next for Prannoy will be Kento Momota of Japan in the second round.
In the Mixed doubles category, Indian duo Pranav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy fell to World No.1 Chinese duo of Zhang Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong. The Indian duo lost the match 21-10, 21-10 in just twenty-three minutes.