World Badminton Championships 2018: HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma enter second round; doubles pairs shine
The Indian contingent got off to a flying start at the World Badminton Championships 2018 as HS Prannoy and Sameer Verma both made it to the second round with commanding performances in Nanjing, China on Monday. India had good results in doubles too, with five out of the six doubles pairs in action, winning their matches.
The 11th seeded Prannoy hardly broke a sweat as he dismissed the 109th ranked Abhinav Manota, an Indian-origin player from New Zealand. The gulf in the rankings was evident as the Indian did not give him any room to settle into the match.
In just 28 minutes, the Indonesia Open quarter-finalist booked his place in the second round for a meeting with World No. 39 Ygor Coelho of Brazil.
Sameer Verma had a tougher task at hand as he faced Lucas Corvee, who beat him in their last meeting at the Thomas and Uber Cup this year. But the Swiss Open champion was very sharp and refused to let the momentum go to the Frenchman’s side. The result was a 21-13, 21-10 win for the Pullela Gopichand protégé in 39 minutes.
Verma will require a lot of this courage and confidence in his next round as he meets the five-time world champion and ninth seed Lin Dan.
Attri-Reddy; Rankireddy-Ponnappa win
Lagos International men’s doubles champions, Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy continue their winning streak as they notched up a 21-13, 21-18 win over the Bulgarian pair of Daniel Nikolov and Ivan Rusev. They were the only Indian men’s doubles duo in action on Day 1.
India won all its four mixed doubles matches. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, who were a sensation at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, began their campaign in a thunderous fashion with a 21-9, 22-20 win over the World No. 23 Danish pair of Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy, India’s top pair in mixed doubles, too had a comfortable time on the court. They prevailed over the Czech combine of Jakub Bitman and Alzbeta Basova 21-17, 21-15.
A day after finishing as the runners-up at the Russian Open, Kuhoo Garg and Rohan Kapoor did not let fatigue get in their way and won their first round easily. They beat Canada’s Toby NG and Rachel Honderich 21-19, 21-6.
Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh too joined them in Round 2, courtesy of a 21-13, 21-12 win over the Nigerian combine of Enejoh Abah and Peace Orji.
The only blemish on an otherwise flawless day for India was a loss in women’s doubles. Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant went down 20-22, 14-21 to Turkey’s Bengisu Ercetin and Nazlican Inci.