Indian shuttlers falter at Singapore tourney

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Singapore, April 13 (IANS) Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy were the only bright spots on a disappointing day for Indian fans as the pair reached the second round of the mixed doubles competition at the Singapore Super Series badminton tournament here on Wednesday.

The Indian mixed doubles duo did not face too many problems from the Indonesian pair of Irfan Fadhilah and Weni Anggraini, winning 21-15, 21-17. They will next take on the fourth seeded Chinese duo of Xu Chen and Ma Jin in the second round.

But it was curtains for all other Indians in the fray on Wednesday as Kidambi Srikanth, H.S. Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram crashed out in the first round of the men’s singles.

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Prannoy produced a tough fight against two-time World Champion Chen Long before going down 21-18, 18-21, 19-21 in an hour and 11 minutes.

Srikanth, who faced World No.28, Hsu Jen Hao, started well against his Chinese Taipei rival by taking the opening game. But he squandered a 9-7 lead in the second game to go down 21-11, 18-21, 18-21.

Jayaram lost 17-21, 16-21 to Marc Zwiebler of Germany.

The Indian women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa also crashed out in the opening round after an 18-21, 16-21 loss to Go Ah Ra and Yoo Hae Won of South Korea.

Sikki Reddy and her Indonesian partner Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth lost 7-21, 6-21 to Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito of Japan in another women’s doubles match.

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