PV Sindhu

Birmingham (England), March 9 (IANS) Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy advanced to the second round of the All England Open Badminton Championships which began at the Barclaycard Arena here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram and the men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy put up below-par performances to exit the tournament.

However, India’s two biggest hopes, Saina and Sindhu won easily in their first round matches. Sixth seed Sindhu eased past Danish Mette Poulsen with a 21-10, 21-11 victory in 29 minutes.

In the second round, the 2016 Olympic silver medallist will meet Indonesian Dinar Dyah Ayustine, who moved past Danish qualifier Natalia Koch Rohde 21-19, 22-20.

Eighth seed Saina battled past World No.11 and defending champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-15, 21-14 in 38 minutes. Saina will face German qualifier Fabienne Deprez in the next round.

In the men’s singles category, only Prannoy managed to progress to the second round. Prannoy defeated China’s Qiao Bin 17-21, 22-20, 21-19 in an excruciating men’s singles match that lasted an hour and 22 minutes.

Next, Prannoy will face Chinese seventh seed Tian Houwei, who registered a 21-19, 21-18 win over Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia.

World No.19 and double Dutch Open winner Jayaram lost to China’s Huang Yuxiang 19-21, 17-21 in 35 minutes. Srikanth also crashed out, losing to Chinese Zhao Junpeng 19-21, 21-19, 12-21 in 57 minutes.

India also fared badly in the doubles competitions. Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy suffered a first-round exit at the hands of qualifiers Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden, who won 21-19, 10-21, 21-18 in 47 minutes.

There was also a huge upset in this category, with Danish second seeds Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen being stunned by Lu Kai and Zheng Siwei of China.

The Indian women’s doubles pair of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S. Ram lost to Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Ya Ching and Wu Ti Jung 19-21, 12-21 in 31 minutes.

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