Indonesia Open: Prannoy Stuns Lin Dan; Srikanth Faces Momota
Indians players have got off to a mixed start. Tough matches for Verma and Srikanth.
HS Prannoy stunned the legendary Lin Dan of China while Sameer Verma pipped Rasmus Gemke of Denmark to advance to the second round of the Indonesia Open badminton tournament.
The Indonesia Open has been a happy hunting ground for Prannoy, especially last year when he beat Chinese legend Chen Long and Malaysian icon Lee Chong Wei en route to the semi-finals.
Prannoy, who is the World No. 13, started off well against Lin Dan, who is ranked eight, winning the first game 21-15. However, the Chinese shuttler came back stronger to win the second game 21-9 and levelled the match.
Prannoy then dug deep into his reservoir to see off the iconic shuttler 21-14 at the $1,250,000 Indonesia Open. Prannoy had also got the better of Lin Dan at the 2015 French Open.
Meanwhile, Sai Praneeth lost his first match against Wang Tzu-Wei of Taipei by a score of 21-10, 21-13. The World No. 15 player will be Prannoy’s second round opponent.
In other matches, Verma scraped past Gemke 21-9 12-21 22-20 in a match lasting a little over an hour.
Verma’s opponent in the second round will likely be World No.1 Viktor Axelsen, another Dane, who faces home shuttler Jonatan Christie in his open match.
However, it was curtains for the women's doubles pair of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S Ram, who lost to the Indonesian pair of Agatha Imanuela and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti, 11-21 18-21.
The 35-year-old Lee Chong Wei doesn’t look like he is slowing down anytime soon, as he picked up a historic 12th Malaysia Open crown earlier this week. He beat Kento Momota in a close final match and made the trip to Indonesia looking for his 7th crown.
Speaking of Momota, the Japanese shuttler’s run to the Malaysia Open final included a resounding win over Kidambi Srikanth in the semi-finals. The Indian No. 1 will start his campaign in Indonesia against the same opponent, attempting to defend his 2017 title.
Women shuttlers PV Sindhu and Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka will be playing tomorrow. Unseeded World No.10 Saina Nehwal plays today (3 July).
(With inputs from PTI)
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