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    PV Sindhu, K Srikanth make positive start at Toyota Thailand Open; Saina Nehwal crashes out

    Kidambi Srikanth

    Badminton   |   January 20, 2021

     

    It has been a decent start for the Indian shuttlers in the Thailand Open BWF Super-1000 tournament as PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and mixed doubles pair Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy all progressed to the second round. However, Saina Nehwal and Sourabh Verma failed to make the cut and were the only disappointments for India.

    Saina was well beaten by fourth seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 17-21, 8-21 while Sourabh went down fighting against Indonesian shuttler Anthony Sinsuka Ginting 16-21,11-21. To add to that, Parupalli Kashyap has also crashed out of the tournament after being retired hurt in his first-round clash against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke.

    India’s day started on a bright note with PV Sindhu leading the lines with her win over Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand 21-17,21-13. Although she was slow at the start, she got going once the first game reached the 15th point mark. This win will give Sindhu a lot of morale boost after the disappointing first-round exit from last week’s tournament.

    “It was a good game and I’m very, very happy. This win was very important for me in this tournament because at last week’s tournament, I went out in the first round,” Sindhu said after the match.

    “So this win today was important because even though in the first game it was tight, I didn’t want to make it easy,” she added. Sindhu will face either Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun or Soniia Cheah in the second round.

    Coming to Men’s Singles, it is good news for India as former World No.1 Srikanth who pulled out of last week’s tournament due to a calf muscle injury seems to have recovered properly as he was impressive in his win over Thai shuttler Sitthikom Thammasin 21-11 21-11. Srikant looked very good as he dominated his opponent and finished the game off in 37 minutes.

    “I am pleased with this win. After the injury, I have been resting and icing the calf, plus I got some practice yesterday. I am happy with the win and I am looking forward to the next round,” Srikanth said after his first-round win.

    However, the best performance of the day came from Sameer Verma who showed great character to win his match against eighth seed Malaysian Zii Jia Lee 18-21 27-25 21-19 in a thriller. After the upset, World No.31 admitted that he was not mentally prepared for this tournament. “In the second game my ankle was hurting a bit. I was not mentally prepared for this tournament. I was down during the interval of the second game, and my coach told me to just focus on playing my own style,” Sameer said.

    “It was all about my mind. I think this will give me confidence for the rest of the tournament,” he added.

    Lastly Mixed Doubles duo Satwik and Ashwini dispatched Danish duo of Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund 23-21, 21-18 tp progress to the second round of the tournament.

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