Indian Open Badminton Championships: Sindhu, Saina enter second round
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Indian Open Badminton Championships: Sindhu, Saina enter second round

March 30, 2017

Olympic medalists P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal made a resounding start to their women’s singles campaign but it was Sameer Verma who hogged the limelight with a stunning straight sets win over Korean Son Wan Ho in men’s event in the opening round of India Super Series here on Wednesday.

Rio Olympics silver medalist Sindhu stream-rolled compatriot Arundhati Pantawane 21-17 21-6, while London Games bronze medallist Saina defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chia Hsin Lee 21-10 21-17 in a lop-sided contest.

Sameer, who had clinched his maiden Grand Prix Gold title at Syed Modi  International, shocked fourth seed Korean Son Wan Ho 21-17 21-10 in a 45-minute contest to set up a clash with Hong Kong’s Hu Yun in the next round.

It was a delightful day for the Verma brothers as Sameer’s elder brother Sourabh also reached the second round with a 21-13 21-16 win over compatriot H.S. Prannoy, who had his right knee tapped due to a freak injury at Swiss Open.

Meanwhile, 2015 champion Kidambi Srikanth fought back from 1-8 down in the first game to eventually notch up a 21-19, 21-16 win over China’s Zhao Junpeng. He will face Olympic bronze medallist Victor Axelsen next.

Ajay Jayaram gave a good fight before going down 21-23 17-21 to third seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

National champion Rituparna Das also produced a scintillating performance to eke out a 19-21, 21-15, 21-19 win over Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Mei Hui.

In women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy defeated the England pair of Gabrielle Adcock and Jessica Pugh 21-16, 21-16. The Indian duo will face fourth seed Thai pair of Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai next.

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