India Open 2022: Sindhu, Srikanth and Loh Kean advance into second round

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Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, World Championship silver medallist and men’s top seed Kidambi Srikanth and World champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore advanced into the second round of the India Open 2022, here on Tuesday

Sindhu defeated compatriot Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli 21-5, 21-16 in just 27 minutes to win the opener. In the second round, she will face either Ira Sharma or Egypt’s Doha Hany.

World Championship silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth triumphed over Siril Verma 21-17, 21-10 in the first round.

The 24-year-old Loh Kean Yew of Singapore survived an early scare to beat Canada’s Sheng Xiaodong 16-21, 21-4, 21-13 in his opening-round men’s singles match.

Now ranked a career-high world No.15 following his monumental BWF World Championships triumph in Huelva, Spain, last month, Loh Kean took 50 minutes to get going as he lost the opening set against his 69th-ranked opponent.

However, the Singaporean stepped up a gear in the second set, winning 10 consecutive points, before comfortably putting Sheng away in the third. This was his first competitive match since his world championship gold.

Earlier, Ashmita Chaliha caused an upset by overcoming fifth-seeded and world number 28 Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 24-22, 21-16 in the opening round in just 31 minutes.

Chaliha began strong, employing her down-the-line smashes to open up an 11-5 lead in the opening game, and looked comfortable against the tall Russian.

However, she began making a lot of errors after the break and Kosetsyaka pounced on the opportunity to first level the score at 14-14 and then again fought back from 16-19 to earn her first game point.

But the Guwahati-girl, who had lost to the Russian in their earlier encounter back in 2019, managed to regroup herself in time to force the Russian to make an unforced error and then saved two more game points before clinching victory with a smash.

In the day’s other matches in the morning session, K Sai Prateekh and Gayatri Gopichand defeated Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Castro 21-16, 16-21, 21-17 while me’s doubles top seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan got their campaign off to a winning start by beating Prem Singh Chouhan and Rajesh Verma 21-18, 21-10.

In the women’s doubles first-round encounter, former junior national champions Ritika Thaker and Simran Singh fought back after losing the opening game to beat Mariia Stoliarenko and Yelyzaveta Zharka of Ukraine 14-21, 22-20, 21-19 to advance to the second round.

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