Hard-fought wins help PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth enter Indonesia Open second round

B Sai Praneeth beat Toma Junior Popov of France 21-19, 21-18 in the men's singles first round
B Sai Praneeth beat Toma Junior Popov of France 21-19, 21-18 in the men's singles first round
Suhas Nayse

PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth had hard-fought victories on Wednesday. These victories helped the Indian trio enter the second round of the Indonesian Open in Bali.

The second day of the BWF World Tour Super 1000 event turned out to be a good one for the Indian singles players. However, the doubles pair continued to disappoint.

Third seed PV Sindhu was stretched to her limits by Aya Ohori of Japan. The unseeded Japanese put the star Indian shuttler under tremendous pressure by winning the first game.

However, world No. 7 Sindhu did not panic and kept her cool to maintain her perfect record against the 25-year-old Japanese. The reigning world champion Sindhu rallied back splendidly to oust Aya Ohori 17-21, 21-17, 21-17. The first round of the women’s singles match lasted for an hour and 10 minutes.

Sindhu maintains clean record against Ohori by winning 11th straight match

Sindhu continued to be a nemesis for the Japanese on the international circuit. With Wednesday’s victory, double Olympic medalist Sindhu improved her impressive head-to-head record against world No. 22 Ohori to 11-0.

Sindhu was a little rusty to start with but picked up her pace as the match progressed. 26-year-old Sindhu displayed wonderful temperament to get the better of the tenacious Ohori, who has stretched to three games in their last four outings.

Sindhu will take on world No. 26 Yvonne Li of Germany in the second round. It will be Sindhu’s first meeting with the 23-year-old German.

Srikanth and Sai Praneeth advance to second round after tough wins

B Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth reached the men’s singles second round after tough wins over their respective rivals.

World No. 16 Sai Praneeth registered a narrow 21-19, 21-18 win over Toma Junior Popov of France. It was Sai Praneeth’s second successive win over world No. 33 this year. Praneeth will lock horns with Christo Popov of France in the second round on Thursday.

Kidambi Srikanth prevailed over HS Prannoy in a repeat of last week’s Indonesia Masters quarterfinal.

World No. 15 Srikanth edged out his compatriot Prannoy with a thrilling 21-15, 19-21, 21-12 win in 56 minutes.

Former world No. 1 Srikanth will face the winner of the first round clash between Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Victor Axelsen and Koki Watanabe of Japan.

Two heart-breaking defeats for Ashwini Ponnappa in a day

It was a forgettable day for Ashwini Ponnappa in Bali. The ace Indian doubles expert suffered two heart-breaking defeats in a day.

Women’s doubles pair Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost to fifth seeds Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria 27-29, 18-21 in 54 minutes.

Later in the day, Ashwini and B Sumeeth Reddy squandered away a one-game lead to face defeat against the new Japanese duo. Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Takuro Hoki and Nami Matsuyama of Japan 24-22, 12-21, 19-21. The tense match lasted for nearly an hour.

Dhruv Kapila and N Sikki Reddy crashed out in the first round. They lost to the Japanese duo of Kyohei Yamashita and Naru Shinoya in straight games.

Indian Results (Round 1)

Men’s singles

Kidambi Srikanth bt HS Prannoy 21-15, 19-21, 21-12 (56 minutes)

B Sai Praneeth bt Toma Junior Popov (France) 21-19, 21-18 (46 minutes)

Women’s singles

3-PV Sindhu bt Aya Ohori (Japan) 17-21, 21-17, 21-17 (70 minutes)

Women’s doubles

Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy lost to 5-Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva (Bulgaria) 27-29, 18-21 (54 minutes)

Mixed doubles

Dhruv Kapila-N Sikki Reddy lost to Kyohei Yamashita-Naru Shinoya (Japan) 7-21, 12-21 (28 minutes)

B Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Takuro Hoki-Nami Matsuyama (Japan) 24-22, 12-21, 19-21 (58 minutes).

Indian players in action on Thursday (Round 2)

Men’s singles

Kidambi Srikanth vs Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) or Koki Watanabe (Japan)

B Sai Praneeth vs Christo Popov (France)

Women’s singles

3-PV Sindhu vs Yvonne Li (Germany)

Men’s doubles

6-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty vs Kang Minhyuk-Seo Seungjae (Korea).

Edited by Aditya Singh
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