A Mithun Hit In Sydney

Mithun Manjunath scores major upset at Australian Open, Sindhu wins at last

Mithun Manjunath

Mithun Manjunath’s upward curve continues. After becoming the Indian National Champion this year with a win over his favourite Indian player Kidambi Srikanth in the semis and then Priyanshu Rajawat in the finals, he scored a major upset in the BWF Super 500 Australian Open in Sydney on Wednesday.

The world No. 50 shocked fourth seed and world number seven Kean Yew Loh of Singapore 21-19 21-19 in an entertaining 41-minute encounter. 

He awaits the winner of the all-Malaysia clash between Lee Zii Jia and Leong Jun Hao in the next round.

Save for an injured Lakshya Sen conceding against compatriot Kiran George while trailing 0-5 in the first game, leading Indian players progressed to the next round. They included women’s fifth seed PV Sindhu, who at last week’s Japan Open made her seventh first round exit of the year. 

In Sydney, Sindhu beat compatriot Ashmita Chaliha 21-18 21-13.

She next faces Aakarshi Kashyap, who put away Malaysia's Jin Wei Goh 21-15 21-17. 

India’s Malvika Bansod, however, could not progress,  as she lost 20-22 11-21 to Yu Po Pai of Chinese Taipei.

In other men's singles opening round engagements, world No. 19 Srikanth crushed Japan's Kenta Nishimoto 21-18 21-7. HS Prannoy, the sixth seed, had it tougher against Cheuk Yiu Lee of Hong Kong. But he came through 21-18 16-21 21-15. 

Priyanshu Rajawat also came through, defeating Nathan Tang of Australia 21-12 21-16.

In second round action, Prannoy will face Yu Jen Chi of Chinese Taipei. Rajawat and Srikanth will take on Tzu Wei Wang and Li Yang Su, respectively. Both players are from Taipei.

It was curtains for the Indian mixed doubles duo of Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy. They went down rather tamely against world No.5 and third seeded Korean pair of Seung Jae Seo and Yu Jung Chae 21-14 21-18.