Lakshya Sen and women’s doubles pair Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy got off to a winning start at the Hylo Open in Saarbrücken, Germany on Tuesday.
The six-day BWF World Tour Super 500 badminton tournament, formerly known as the SaarLorLux Open, got underway on Tuesday.
The opening day turned out to be a mixed one for the Indians as only Lakshya Sen and Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy entered the second round. The rest of the Indian shuttlers failed to clear the first-round hurdle.
Ajay Jayaram gave a big scare to fifth seed Rasmus Gemke before going down in three hard-fought games in the men’s singles first round.
After reaching the final of the Belgian International Challenge tournament last week, Ajay Jayaram was riding high on confidence. The 34-year-old Mumbai shuttler continued his brilliant form but went down against Rasmus Gemke of Denmark 14-21, 21-19, 16-21.
Ajay Jayaram stretched the talented Dane to his limits in a marathon encounter that lasted an hour and five minutes.
Former champion Lakshya Sen beats Thomas Rouxel of France in first round
India’s main hope in the competition, Lakshya Sen, did not have much of a difficulty brushing aside the challenge of Thomas Rouxel in the first round.
20-year-old Lakshya thumped France’s Thomas Rouxel 21-17, 21-14 in just 36 minutes. The Almora youngster took some time to settle down in the first game. However, Lakshya was unstoppable in the second game. He had triumphed in the same tournament in 2019.
It was the second successive win for Lakshya over a French player, ranked 38 in the world. Lakshya had beaten France’s Thomas Rouxel 21-18, 21-17 at the All England Open Badminton Championships earlier this year.
The world No. 21 will now cross swords with fourth seed Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei in the second round.
In their only previous meeting, world No. 11 Wang Tzu Wei got the better of Lakshya in three games at the New Zealand Open in 2019.
Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy make short work of Ukrainian pair
In the women’s doubles first round, seventh seeds Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy thrashed Mariia Stoliarenko and Yelyzaveta Zharka of Ukraine. Ashwini and Sikki needed just 24 minutes to post a comfortable 21-8, 21-13 victory.
The world's No. 28 Indian pair will lock horns with Indonesia’s Nita Violina Marwah and Putri Syaikah, ranked 37 in the world.
Several Indian players will be seen in action on Wednesday, including Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and Subhankar Dey.
Indian Results (Round 1)
Lakshya Sen bt Thomas Rouxel (France) 21-17, 21-14 (36 minutes)
Ajay Jayaram lost to 5-Rasmus Gemke (Denmark) 14-21, 21-19, 16-21 (65 minutes)
Sri Krishna Priya K lost to Maria Ulitina (Ukraine) 18-21, 14-21 (31 minutes)
Manu Attri-B Sumeeth Reddy lost to 6-Ben Lane-Sean Vendy (England) 9-21, 11-21 (23 minutes)
Kona Tarun-Shivam Sharma lost to Daniel Lundgaard-Mathias Thyrri (Denmark) 16-21, 18-21 (32 minutes)
7-Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy bt Mariia Stoliarenko-Yelyzaveta Zharka (Ukraine) 21-8, 21-13 (24 minutes)
B Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Niclas Nohr-Amalie Magelund (Denmark) 12-21, 13-21 (25 minutes)
6-Kidambi Srikanth vs Koki Watanabe (Japan)
Subhankar Dey vs Lee Dong Keun (Korea)
HS Prannoy vs Nhat Nguyen (Ireland)
Sourabh Verma vs Max Weisskirchen (Germany)
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Aakarshi Kashyap vs Neslihan Yigit (Turkey).