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Thailand Open: Sindhu, Srikanth advance to second round, Saina knocked out
Bangkok, May 18 - Top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the second round of the Thailand Open 2022 after registering after hard-fought wins in their singles matches but Saina Nehwal lost her clash and was knocked out of the tournament, here on Wednesday.
Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, defeated Lauren Lam of US 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 at the Impact Arena. The first game saw an even contest between Sindhu, the world No 7 in current badminton rankings, and Lauren, ranked 55 places below the Indian.
The American shuttler led the Indian 11-9 at the first break but Sindhu, with six consecutive points, snatched back the momentum. The Indian badminton ace was stunned in the second game as Lauren mounted a comeback to stretch the match to a decider. Sindhu kept her nose ahead in the third game and eventually won the contest in 59 minutes.
This was Sindhu's third win over Lauren Lam in as many matches. The 26-year old will now take on the winner of the match between world No 13 Sayaka Takahashi of Japan and world No 46 Sim Yu Jin of South Korea next.
On the other hand, London 2012 Olympic medallist Saina, got off to a good start against South Korean world No. 19 Kim Ga Eun. However, she failed to keep up the pace and went down 21-11, 15-21, 17-21 to make an early exit.
Meanwhile, upcoming Indian shuttler Malvika Bansod came from behind against world No. 59 Marija Ulitina of Ukraine to win the contest 17-21, 21-15, 21-11. Bansod, ranked 57th, will have her task cut out against world No. 22 Line Christophersen of Denmark in the second round. Christophersen upset world No. 3 An Se Young.
In men's singles, world No 11 Kidambi Srikanth won against European Games silver medallist Brice Leverdez after going down in the first game.The 29-year old Srikanth, who helped India win Thomas Cup last week, defeated the French shuttler 18-21, 21-10, 21-16.
With this win, Srikanth kept his unbeaten run against the Frenchman intact and now leads him 5-0 in the head-to-head record.The world championship silver medallist Srikanth will now take on world No 42 Nhat Nguyen of Ireland in the second round on Thursday.
However, it was the end of the road for worlds bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth and Ashmita ChaIiha and Aakarshi Kashyap, both members of India's Uber Cup team, as they lost their respective singles matches.
The 29-year old Praneeth lost to Kantaphon Wangcharoen, also a world championship bronze medallist, 12-21, 13-21. Praneeth entered the contest leading the Thai shuttler 4-2 in head-to-head encounters. However, he could not match the intensity of the younger opponent and was beaten convincingly.
Ashmita lost to world No 8 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 10-21, 15-21 while Aakarshi Kashyap was handed a 21-13, 21-18 defeat by world No 11 Michelle Li of Canada.
Later in the day, HS Prannoy will take on Daren Liew of Malaysia. Notably, the Indian men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and top-ranked Indian men's singles player Lakshya Sen had opted out of the Thailand meet.
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