BWF World Championships: Kidambi Srikanth advances to second round, B Sai Praneeth knocked out

The Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy and the women’s duo of Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh also lost their respective opening rounds.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by Badmintonphoto | Courtesy of BWF

India’s ace badminton player Kidambi Srikanth won the opening match of his BWF World Championships 2021 men’s singles campaign in Huelva, Spain on Sunday.

Kidambi Srikanth, who is world No. 14 and seeded 12th in the tournament, defeated 53rd-ranked Pablo Abian of Spain in straight games -- 21-12, 21-16 -- in 36 minutes.

The former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth will face the 63rd-ranked Li Shifeng of China in the next round.

Lakshya Sen also advanced to the second round after getting a walkover from Germany’s Max Weisskirchen.

However, other Indians faltered in the opening round of the badminton world championships and were knocked out.

B Sai Praneeth, a world championships bronze medallist from the 2019 edition, lost to Mark Caljouw from the Netherlands despite winning the opening game.

Caljouw, ranked 28th, won 17-21, 21-7, 21-18 against the 16th-ranked Indian in a match that lasted 68 minutes.

The two had previously faced off at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year where Sai Praneeth went down in straight games to the Dutch shuttler in a group match.

In the men’s doubles at the badminton world championships, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost to Denmark’s Joel Elpe and Rasmus Kjaer 21-16, 21-15 in 32 minutes.

The women’s doubles pair of Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh, meanwhile, retired midway during their match against Dutch pair of Alyssa Tirtosentono and Imke van der Aar. The Indian duo had lost the first game 12-21.

On Monday, India’s HS Prannoy, the mixed pair of Utkarsh Arora and Karishma Wadkar, men’s doubles duo of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, and Arun George and Sanyam Shukla, will be in action.

India’s reigning world champion PV Sindhu will open her campaign later this week against Martina Repiska of Slovakia after she got a bye in the opening round.

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