Denmark Open 2021: Saina bows out, Lakshya advances to next round

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal crashed out of the Denmark Open 2021 after losing to Aya Ohori of Japan in the opening round of the women’s singles event, here on Wednesday.

Nehwal, a bronze medallist from the London 2012 Olympics, struggled to find her rhythm and suffered a 16-21, 14-21 loss against the Japanese opponent, who took 34 minutes to wrap up the match.

PV Sindhu, the other Indian in women’s singles, had advanced to the second round after winning her opening round match on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, rising star Lakshya Sen registered an impressive 21-9, 21-7 win over compatriot Sourabh Verma in the opening round of the men’s singles event. Sen, a silver medallist at the 2018 Youth Olympics, will now face the Tokyo Olympics champion, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, who beat Loh Kean Yew of Singapore 21-19, 21-14.

However, the likes of HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap exited the tournament early. Prannoy lost 18-21, 19-21 to Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, losing, while Kashyap pulled out of his first-round tie against Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-Chen three points into the match.

The Indian doubles pairs in action at the Denmark Open also disappointed with their performance and failed to progress in their respective events.

In the women’s doubles on Wednesday, the experienced duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost to the former world championships medallists, Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan of South Korea 17-21, 13-21 while J Meghana and SR Poorvisha went down 8-21, 7-21 to Indonesian duo of Nita Violina Marwah and Putri Syaikah.

The mixed doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa showed great heart in their opening-round match, but they couldn’t see it through, losing to China’s Feng Yanzhe and Du Yue 17-21, 21-14, 11-21.