Hong Kong Open 2018: Sindhu wins, Saina out, Srikanth to play Prannoy in second round
Rio Olympic silver medallist Pusarla Venkata Sindhu made a strong start in the opening round of the Hong Kong Open 2018 when she beat Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand. Former world no. 1 Kidambi Srikanth also advanced with a win over home favourite Wong Wing Ki Vincent and set up a clash with H.S. Prannoy in the second round while Commonwealth champions Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap lost their respective matches in the first round.
P.V. Sindhu continued her dominance over Thai player Nitchaon Jindapol as she extended her lead by 5-1 in the head-to-head encounter on the BWF circuit. She beat Jindapol by 21-15, 13-21, 21-17 in an hour and one-minute long match. She will now be up against former Asian Championship gold medallist Sung Ji Hyun of Korea.
Saina Nehwal failed to cross the opening hurdle and lost to no. 2 seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan. Saina started well as she clinched the opening game by 21-10 against the Japanese but Yamaguchi exacted revenge by the same scoreline in the second game.
They were at 18 all in the deciding game but after that, Akane Yamaguchi pulled out the match by 21-19. She now leads the head-to-head meetings by 7-2 against the Olympic bronze medallist from London 2012.
Kidambi Srikanth had an easy win over Wong Wing Ki Vincent by 21-11, 21-15 in just 32 minutes in the first round. He will be now up against another Indian player H.S. Prannoy. The latter prevailed over Anders Antonsen of Denmark in a gruelling match in three games. He beat Antonsen by 21-14, 13-21, 21-19 in a 66-minute long match.
Sameer Verma also advanced to the second round after a win over Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand by 21-17, 21-14 in straight games. He will next meet reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China in the second round. But B. Sai Praneeth lost to another Thai player Khosit Phetpradab in three games by 16-21, 21-11, 21-15.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap lost his opening match to no. 7 seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia. He lost his match by 21-16, 21-13 in just 35 minutes. Earlier, he had created an upset in the qualifying round after beating no. 1 seed Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei.
Men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy advanced to the second round after winning over Bodin Isara and Maneepong Jongjit of Thailand by 21-12, 21-18 in the first round and they will meet Lee Yang and Lee Jhe-Huei of Chinese Taipei in the second round. But young Indian pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost to London Olympic silver medallists Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark after a tough fight in two games by 21-19, 23-21 in 46 minutes.
Women's doubles pair Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikky Reddy lost to Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan after winning the first game by 21-18. They lost their match by 18-21, 21-10, 21-8 in 52 minutes. However, Ashwini and Satwik will play in the second round of mixed doubles against a pair from Chinese Taipei.