Kidambi Srikanth was the only Indian winner at the $120, 000 German Open on Wednesday as the rest of the Indian contingent bowed out of this Grand Prix Gold event held at Mülheim an der Ruh, Germany. The 12th seed staved off a stiff challenge from the young Japanese shuttler Yusuke Onodera to beat him, 21-17, 21-18 in 35 minutes in his second round match.
The Rio Olympic quarter-finalist has a tough task up next as he faces the reigning Olympic champion Chen Long for a place in the last-eight. The second-seeded Chinese was in impeccable form and pummelled Englishman Sam Parsons, 21-10, 21-6 in just 34 minutes.
This is Srikanth’s first tournament after a one-month hiatus. He had opted to take time off after his semi-final exit from the Syed Modi International in order to focus on full recovery from an ankle injury and also to prepare well for the hectic Superseries season coming up.
The break resulted in a ranking slide for the former World No. 3 and is now down to a lowly 29th.
Fourth career meeting with Chen Long
Srikanth will meet the fifth-ranked Chen Long for the fourth time in his career. In the three matches that he played against the former World No. 1, all of which went the Olympic gold medallist’s way, the Indian was able to take a game just once.
Suffice to say, the Pullela Gopichand protégé needs to be at his absolute best to make any impact.
All other Indians bow out
It was a forgettable day for the other Indians in action. Subhankar Dey, who toppled the World No. 53 Zhao Junpeng a day earlier, succumbed to a 14-21, 8-21 defeat to the fifth seed and Hong Kong Open Superseries champion NG Ka Long Angus.
Qualifier Harshit Aggarwal’s run came to an end at the hands of the eighth seed Hu Yun, who beat him, 21-15, 21-11.
Tanvi Lad was the sole Indian representation in women’s singles and she crashed out with a 14-21, 12-21 loss to World No. 155 Priskila Siahaya of Indonesia in 36 minutes.Published 02 Mar 2017, 16:38 IST