On International Women’s Day, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal displayed terrific form to launch their German Open campaign on a winning note. The BWF Super 300 World Tour event is taking place in Muelheim An Der Ruhr, Germany.
Seventh-seed PV Sindhu outclassed Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand 21-8, 21-7 in a one-sided women’s singles encounter while Saina marked her comeback on the international circuit with a hard-fought three-game victory against Clara Azurmendi of Spain.
World No. 25 Saina prevailed over world No. 46 Azurmendi 21-15, 17-21, 21-14 in 47 minutes. Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu, on the other hand, needed just 32 minutes to win her first-round match, against the Thai opponent. It was PV Sindhu’s 15th win over the world No. 11 player in 16 matches between the two.
PV Sindhu raced to a 11-4 lead quickly in the first game. The bronze medalist at the Tokyo Olympics did not lose focus and maintained her big lead to wrap up the opening game at 21-8.
The second game was almost a replay of the first. PV Sindhu took a 7-5 lead and then accelerated to shut the door on her rival without any difficulty.
PV Sindhu to face China’s Zhang Yi Man next
Former world champion PV Sindhu will now take on China’s Zhang Yi Man for a spot in the quarter-finals. World No. 34 Zhang defeated Spain’s Beatriz Corrales 21-15, 21-14 in the first round. It will be Sindhu’s first meeting with the Chinese shuttler on the international circuit.
Saina, who avenged her previous defeat against Spaniard Clara on Tuesday, will face the winner of the match between China’s Wang Zhi Yi and 8th-seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen, and HS Prannoy also into second round
World Championship silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth and fellow Indian Lakshya Sen recorded contrasting wins to advance to the second round.
8th-seed Srikanth edged past France’s Brice Leverdez 21-10, 13-21, 21-7 in 48 minutes. It was Srikanth’s fourth successive victory against the world No. 39 Leverdez.
Srikanth looked in good touch as he zoomed from 6-6 to 19-8 in a jiffy and grabbed the opening game quite easily. The Frenchman made a strong comeback in the next game as he dominated from start to finish to make it 1-1.
In the decider, Srikanth regained his rhythm, making his way to 11-5 at the break. The former world No. 1 kept his nose ahead to quickly jump to 18-7 before sealing it easily in the end.
World No. 11 Srikanth will next lock horns with China’s Lu Guang Zu. Srikanth has a 2-0 record against the world No. 27 Chinese.
Lakshya Sen overcame a late fightback from Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand to register a 21-6, 22-20 win in 36 minutes. World Championship bronze medallist Sen will square off against 4th-seed Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the second round.
HS Prannoy made it a perfect day for Indian singles players as he shocked 7th-seed Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong 21-14, 21-19 in 40 minutes. Prannoy will play Angus' compatriot Lee Cheuk Yiu for a spot in the last-eight.
Disappointing showing by Indian doubles pairs
It was a forgettable day for the entire Indian doubles contingent. All four pairs, including one in the women’s doubles, crashed out in the opening round itself.
Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Craso went down fighting against the English pair of Gregory Mairs and Jenny Moore 19-21, 22-20, 9-21 in an hour-long mixed doubles outing.
PV Sindhu continues to be India's biggest hope in this tournament. After a dip in form over the last couple of years, though she was able to win bronze at the Olympics, she would be looking to assert her quality again.
German Open - Indian results (Round 1)
Kidambi Srikanth bt Brice Leverdez (France) 21-10, 13-21, 21-7 (48 minutes)
Lakshya Sen bt Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Thailand) 21-6, 22-20 (36 minutes)
HS Prannoy bt Ng Ka Long Angus (Hong Kong China) 21-14, 21-19 (40 minutes)
PV Sindhu bt Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Thailand) 21-8, 21-7 (32 minutes)
Saina Nehwal bt Clara Azurmendi (Spain) 21-15, 17-21, 21-14 (47 minutes)
Haritha MH-Ashna Roy lost to Martina Corsini-Judith Mair (Italy) 9-21, 10-21 (23 minutes)
Ishaan Bhatnagar-Tanisha Craso lost to Gregory Mairs-Jenny Moore (England) 19-21, 22-20, 9-21 (58 minutes)
Sai Pratheek K-Reddy N Sikki lost to Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Thailand) 19-21, 8-21 (31 minutes)
Dhruv Kapila-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela lost to Adnan Maulana-Mychelle Crhystine Bandaso (Indonesia) 19-21, 19-21 (38 minutes)
Indians in action on Wednesday (Round 1)
Parupalli Kashyap vs Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Thailand)
Subhankar Dey vs Zhao Jun Peng (China)
MR Arjun-Dhruv Kapila vs Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Malaysia)
Krishna Prasad Garaga-Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala vs Hiroki Okampura-Masayuki Onodera (Japan)
Ishaan Bhatnagar-K Sai Pratheek vs Callum Hemming-Steven Stallwood (England)
Malvika Bansod vs Michelle Li (Canada)
Aakarshi Kashyap vs Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt (Denmark)
Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy vs Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida (Japan)
Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela vs Debora Jille-Cheryl Seinen (Netherlands).