Ace Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal began their All England Open Badminton Championships 2022 campaign with easy straight-game wins over their respective opponents in the women's singles in Birmingham on Wednesday. (More Badminton News)
Sixth seed Sindhu beat Zhi Yi Wang of China 21-18, 21-13 in her first-round match that lasted 42 minutes while Saina defeated Beatriz Corrales of Spain 21-17, 21-19 in 38 minutes. Sindhu will meet Sayaka Takahashi of Japan, who defeated Supanida Katethong of Thailand in her opening-round game.
Saina, who had reached the final in 2015, will face second seed Japanese Akane Yamaguchi, who strolled past Kristin Kuuba of Estonia. If Sindhu and Saina win their respective second-round matches, they will face each other in an all-Indian quarterfinal.
Meanwhile, it was curtains for young Indian Aakarshi Kashyap as she lost her women's singles encounter against Canadian Michelle Li in straight sets 21-18, 21-18.
In men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen lived up to their billing to notch up opening round wins. Lakshya, German Open 2022 runner-up, defeated compatriot Sourabh Verma 21-17, 21-7 while World Championships silver medallist Srikanth got better of Thai Kantaphon Wangcharoen.
Srikanth defeated Wangcharoen 21-18, 21-14. The Indian will next face Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, who got better of Indian Parupalli Kashyap 21-11, 21-18. If everything goes well, a Srikanth versus top seed and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in the quarterfinals. Lakshya will next face Dane Anders Antonsen.
Among other Indians in men’s singles, B Sai Praneeth lost to Axelsen 20-22, 11-21 in the first-round match that lasted 48 minutes. HS Prannoy went down fighting to German Open 2022 winner Thai player Kunlavut Vitidsarn 15-21, 22-24 in 56 minutes.
Sameer Verma also lost to Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands 18-21, 11-21 in a 41-minute opening match. In men’s doubles, fifth-seeded Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Scottish pair of Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall 21-17, 21-19 in 38 minutes.
But MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila lost 21-15, 12-21, 18-21 to second seed Indonesian pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
The other Indian men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala also suffered defeat at the hands of the German duo of Mark Lamfuss and Marvin Seidel 16-21, 19-21 in just 37 minutes.
In women's doubles, Treesa Jolly and Pullela Gayatri Gopichand made it to the second round with a 17-21, 22-20, 21-14 victory over the Thailand pair of Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard in one hour and seven minutes.