Manila: Apr 27 (IANS) India’s top midfielders PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal won their first round women’s singles matches and advanced to the second round at the 2022 Asian Badminton Championships, but Lakshya Sen and B Sai Praneeth dropped out of the tournament after losing their respective matches, here on Wednesday.
Double Olympic medalist Sindhu was forced to work hard by Chinese Taipei’s 39th-ranked Pai Yu Po in the first-round match that lasted one hour and 17 minutes. The Indian ace lost the first game and saved a match point in the second before taking the decider. and winning the contest 18-21, 27-25, 21-9 at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
The world number 7 and former world champion Sindhu will now face Yue Yann Jaslyn Hooi of Singapore in the next round on Thursday.
On the other hand, London 2012 bronze medalist Saina Nehwal was also stretched to three games by South Korea’s Sim Yu Jin, but the Indian ultimately prevailed 21-15, 17-21, 21-13 in 54 minutes.
However, Lakshya Sen, the highest ranked Indian in the men’s singles, was eliminated in the first round. Sen, currently ranked ninth in the badminton world rankings, was defeated 21-12, 10-21, 21-19 by world number 64 Li Shi Feng of China.
Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 Olympian B Sai Praneeth also faced first-round elimination, following a 17-21, 13-21 loss to this year’s Swiss Open winner Jonatan Christie of Indonesia.
Another Indian shuttle, Aakarshi Kashyap, was eliminated from the women’s singles by reigning world champion Akane Yamaguchi. Aakarshi lost 15-21, 9-21. The women’s doubles pairs of Ashwini Bhat-Shikha Gautam and Simran Sanghi and Ritika Thaker were also eliminated in their opening matches.
Later in the day, world championship silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth and youngster Malvika Bansod will take the court for their respective singles matches.