Singapore Open: PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth enter second round
This was Sindhu's first match as the World No. 2.
In her first match as the World No. 2, Indian shuttler PV Sindhu was given a stern test by the 2016 All England Championships winner Nozomi Okuhara in the first round of the $350,000 OUE Singapore Open Superseries on Wednesday. But the India Open champion managed to come back from a one-game deficit to notch up a 10-21, 21-15, 22-20 win in a competitive match that lasted 1 hour 2 minutes.
B Sai Praneeth was the only other Indian singles player to advance to the second round in the early matches played at the Singapore Open. Sai too had to fight hard to secure a 17-21, 21-7, 21-19 win over the World No. 40 Emil Holst of Denmark.
Big win for Ponnappa-Reddy in women’s doubles
In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy had a big win as they upset the 23rd ranked Malaysian pair of Yin Loo Lim and Yap Cheng Wen. 18 ranking places separated the Malaysians and the 41st ranked Indians but Ponnappa and Reddy made a mockery of the gap as they put up a strong show for a hard-fought 21-19, 21-19 win.
They have a tough task up next as they face the top seeds and World No. 1 Japanese combine of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in the second round. The latter easily beat the Indian pair of Arathi Sara Sunil and Sanjana Santosh, 21-11, 21-8.
It didn’t turn out to be a great day for the Verma brothers either. Elder brother Sourabh, who had qualified for the main draw, crumbled to a 15-21, 14-21 loss to the 25th ranked Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. Younger brother Sameer could not repeat his India Open heroics and went down fighting 26-28, 21-23 to the 15th ranked Hu Yun in 58 minutes.
Sameer had toppled the Hong Kong shuttler at the Delhi tournament this year.
India’s second women’s singles participant, Rituparna Das also lost 18-21, 13-21 to World No. 26 Hsu Ya Ching of Chinese Taipei.
In mixed doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and K Maneesha took a game but ultimately fell 13-21, 21-16, 11-21 to the Chinese Taipei pair of Lu Ching Yao and Chiang Kai Hsin.
Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram lost 14-21, 6-21 to the third seeds Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan in women’s doubles.
In the men’s doubles main draw, there was double disappointment for Indian shuttlers. Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy’s challenge was ended by the third seeded Japanese duo of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda, 8-21, 16-21.
Qualifiers Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran too could not cross the first hurdle as they bowed out 17-21, 17-21 to Malaysians Yew Sin Ong and Ee Yi Teo.