Barring Lakshya Sen, it was a disappointing day for the Indians at the Victor Denmark Open BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament in Odense on Wednesday.
Lakshya Sen entered the men’s singles second round, but his senior counterparts Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy crashed out in the first round itself.
In an all-India men’s singles first round, Lakshya registered a quick-fire 21-9, 21-7 victory over Sourabh Verma.
Twenty-year-old Lakshya needed just 26 minutes to post his first win over Sourabh Verma in their third meeting on the international tour.
World No. 25 Lakshya was always in command against former two-time national champion Sourabh Verma, who has now slipped to 36 in the world rankings.
Lakshya will now square off against Tokyo Olympic champion and second seed Viktor Axelsen in the second round. In their only meeting so far, the tall Dane had beaten Lakshya 21-17, 21-18 at the All England Open in 2020.
HS Prannoy goes down fighting against sixth seed Jonatan Christie
Making a comeback after a long break, HS Prannoy put up a sterling show against the in-form Jonatan Christie.
The former national champion Prannoy lost 18-21, 19-21 in a well-contested battle that lasted for 46 minutes.
Prannoy was unlucky as he had his chances in both games but could not capitalize on them.
Indonesian Christie has been in tremendous form recently and had guided his country to Thomas Cup triumph after 19 years last week.
Parupalli Kashyap retired after spending just a couple of minutes on the court against fourth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
Saina Nehwal finds Japanese Aya Ohori too hot to handle
Saina Nehwal made an inglorious quick exit from the Denmark Open. The former world No. 1 Saina found Aya Ohori too hot to handle and lost 16-21, 14-21 in 34 minutes. It was Saina's first match against Aya Ohori.
The world No. 20 Japan player made good use of Saina’s lack of confidence on her way to a straight-game win.
London Games bronze medallist Saina retired midway through her first match in the Uber Cup final against Spain due to a groin injury. The 31-year-old did not take part in India’s next three matches.
Disappointing day for doubles players
It was a forgettable day for the Indian doubles combinations on the second day of the competition. All three doubles pairs in the fray on Wednesday bowed out in their respective first-round encounters.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa were upset in the mixed doubles first round.
The world No. 22 Indian pair went down to new Chinese duo Feng Yan Zhe and Du Yue 17-21, 21-14, 11-21 in 48 minutes. The experienced Indian duo were expected to dominate the Chinese pair, ranked a lowly 1807 in the world.
Indian Results (Round 1)
Lakshya Sen bt Sourabh Verma 21-9, 21-7 (26 minutes)
HS Prannoy lost to 6-Jonatan Christie (Indonesia) 18-21, 19-21 (46 minutes)
Parupalli Kashyap lost to 4-Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei) 0-3 (retired) (2 minutes)
Saina Nehwal lost to Aya Ohori (Japan) 16-21, 14-21 (34 minutes)
Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy lost to 2-Lee Sohee-Shin Seungchan (Korea) 17-21, 13-21 (38 minutes)
Jakkampudi Meghana-Poorvisha S Ram lost to Nita Violina Marwah-Putri Syaikah (Indonesia) 8-21, 7-21 (23 minutes)
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Feng Yan Zhe-Du Yue (China) 17-21, 21-14, 11-21 (48 minutes).