A year after Kidambi Srikanth and Sai Praneeth played a memorable all-Indian men’s singles final, the Indian campaign came to a premature end in the second round of the Singapore Open 2018 on Thursday. Sourabh Verma and Subhankar Dey were the only remaining Indians in men’s singles after the first round defeats suffered by the defending champion, Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap.
Verma and Dey soon joined their compatriots on the sidelines as they failed to provide much resistance to their respective opponents. Verma squandered a good start to fall 21-18, 15-21, 11-21 to Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen.
Dey had a much tougher opponent in the form of the top seed Chou Tien Chen. The Chinese Taipei shuttler made no mistake in notching up a 21-13, 21-14 win in 33 minutes.
In women’s singles, former national champion Rituparna Das was edged 21-15, 13-21, 16-21 by Indonesia’s Yulia Yosephin Susanto. South Asian Games gold medallist Ruthvika Shivani Gadde was completely outplayed 8-21, 15-21 by the fifth seed Sayaka Takahashi of Japan.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy had a bad day at the office as he went down in both the men’s doubles and the mixed doubles sections. In the former, he and Chirag Shetty were seeded second, but they failed to live up to their billing as they crashed out 17-21, 18-21 to the Chinese combine of Ou Xuanyi and Xiangyu Ren.
In mixed doubles, Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa battled hard for 53 minutes. Yet, the Indian pair, who dazzled at the Commonwealth Games in April, was denied a win in the end.
Rankireddy and Ponnappa exited the tournament with a 14-21, 21-16, 14-21 loss to the seventh seeds Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah.
Sikki suffers ankle injury
Sikki Reddy had been struck by an ankle injury right before her departure to Singapore. The Commonwealth Games women's doubles bronze medallist twisted her ankle during a training session.
The doubles ace revealed that on her social media accounts after succumbing to a 15-21, 11-21 loss to Hong Kong’s Chang Tak Ching and NG Wing Yung alongside Pranaav Jerry Chopra in mixed doubles.