Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and the mixed doubles pair of Dhruv Kapila and N Sikki Reddy produced a scintillating display at the Indonesian Masters in Bali on Wednesday.
The second day of the six-day long BWF World Tour Super 750 badminton tournament turned out to be a mixed affair for the Indian camp.
Srikanth and Prannoy clinched hard-fought victories to start their campaign on a positive note in the men’s singles, but B Sai Praneeth suffered a heart-breaking defeat which extended his losing sequence.
Dhruv Kapila and Sikki Reddy caused the biggest upset of the day when the Indian combination toppled world No 5 Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti. The new Indian pairing recorded a 21-11, 22-20 win over the second-seeded Indonesians.
Kidambi Srikanth overcomes French youngster Christo Popov in a thriller
Former world No 1 Srikanth overcame stiff resistance from Christo Popov of France with an outstanding three-game win. The Indian ace outlasted world No 71 Popov 21-18, 15-21, 21-16 in an hour and 15 minutes.
Srikanth, the Indonesian Open Super Series premier winner in 2017 in Jakarta, initially trailed 2-8, but the the Indian star bounced back to take a 13-10 lead. Popov caught up at 18-all, but the experienced Indian won three points in succession to take the opening game.
The 19-year-old Popov led from start to finish to win the second game in quick time.
In the decider, Srikanth grabbed a 6-1 lead, but his young rival clawed back to make it 12-13. However, Srikanth drew from his wealth of experience to close it out at 21-16.
Srikanth will square off against home favorite and world No 8 Jonatan Christie in the second round on Thursday. Asian Games champion Christie edged out Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand 21-18, 20-22, 21-17.
HS Prannoy beats Daren Liew of Malaysia
Former world No 10 Prannoy edged out Malaysia’s Daren Liew 22-20, 21-19 in 49 minutes.
Prannoy will next meet reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. World No 2 Axelsen defeated Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong in straight games.
It was curtains for world No 16 B Sai Praneeth and former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap. Praneeth went down fighting 21-16, 14-21, 20-22 to Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia, while Kashyap lost 21-10, 21-19 to Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark.
Dhruv Kapila-Sikki Reddy stun second-seeded Indonesian pair
Dhruv Kapila and Sikki Reddy notched up a spectacular 21-11, 22-20 win over the Indonesian duo of Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti. World No 178 Dhruv and Sikki combined well to oust the second seeds in the mixed doubles first round.
Dhruv-Sikki will lock horns with Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran of Thailand, who are ranked No 27 in the world.
Meanwhile, Venkat Gaurav Prasad-Juhi Dewangan bowed out after losing 15-21, 12-21 to Hong Kong’s Chang Tak Ching and Ng Wing Yung.
B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also failed to clear the first round, losing 21-15, 21-16 to sixth-seeded Indonesian pair Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.
Indian results (Round 1)
Kidambi Srikanth bt Christo Popov (France) 21-18, 15-21, 21-16 (75 minutes)
HS Prannoy bt Liew Daren (Malaysia) 22-20, 21-19 (49 minutes)
B Sai Praneeth lost to Shesar Hiren Rhustavito (Indonesia) 21-16, 14-21, 20-22 (68 minutes)
Parupalli Kashyap lost to Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus (Denmark) 10-21, 19-21 (38 minutes)
MR Arjun-Dhruv Kapila lost to Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi (Japan) 17-21, 12-21 (39 minutes)
Dhruv Kapila-N Sikki Reddy bt 2-Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti (Indonesia) 21-11, 22-20 (30 minutes)
B Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa lost to 6-Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (Indonesia) 15-21, 16-21 (32 minutes)
Venkat Gaurav Prasad-Juhi Dewangan lost to Chang Tak Ching-Ng Wing Yung (Hong Kong China) 15-21, 12-21 (24 minutes)
Indian players in action on Thursday (Round 2)
Kidambi Srikanth vs 6-Jonatan Christie (Indonesia)
Lakshya Sen vs 1-Kento Momota (Japan)
HS Prannoy vs 2-Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)
3-PV Sindhu vs Clara Azurmendi (Spain)
Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy vs 3-Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Thailand)
Also ReadArticle Continues below
Dhruv Kapila-N Sikki Reddy vs Supak Jomkoh-Supissara Paewsampran (Thailand)