Both Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal got off to a flying start but HS Prannoy went down fighting on a day of mixed fortunes for India at the Orleans Masters.
While fourth seed Nehwal cruised past Rachael Darragh 21-9, 21-5, Srikanth won an all-Indian clash against Ajay Jayaram 21-15, 21-10.
Meanwhile, an inspired Kiran George played a thriller against Prannoy to notch up a 13-21, 21-16, 23-21 win at this BWF Super 100 tournament. Coming into the second round on the back of a big win against Mark Caljouw, George showed exceptional fighting spirit to edge his senior compatriot in a 59-minute marathon.
Kashyap crashes out, Chirag Sen advances at the Orleans Masters 2021
Looking to make amends after a dismal outing at the All England Open 2021, former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth was in top form against Ajay Jayaram. Even though Jayaram recently made the quarters at the Swiss Open, he couldn't put up much resistance against a determined Srikanth. The top seed was in full control of the proceedings right from the start and completed the win in just 25 minutes.
Chirag Sen too hardly broke a sweat as he beat Indonesia's Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo 21-13, 21-12 at this Tokyo Olympic qualifier.
For Parupalli Kashyap, however, the Orleans Masters 2021 journey was short-lived as the fifth seed succumbed to a 7-21, 17-21 defeat to Frenchman Toma Junior Popov.
Saina Nehwal, Ira Sharma shine at the Orleans Masters 2021
Saina Nehwal seems to have fully recovered from the hip injury that had forced her to retire from her first-round match at the All England Open last week. The Orleans Masters fourth seed blazed through her opening round against Rachael Darragh in just 21 minutes to book her place in the pre-quarter-finals.
In another women's singles match, the young Ira Sharma had to dig deep to see off local hope Lenoice Huet 12-21, 21-14, 21-17. Sharma, who had been promoted into the main draw from qualifying, will now take on Bulgaria's Mariya Mitsova.