PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth through to second round at Swiss Open

PV Sindhu rolled over Neslihan Yigit in straight games while Kidambi Srikanth was pushed hard by Sameer Verma. Chirag-Satwik also advanced to the Round of 16.

By Rahul Venkat

Reigning world champion PV Sindhu recorded a comfortable 21-15, 21-19 victory over Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit in her opening round match at the Swiss Open in Basel on Wednesday.

PV Sindhu went short with her serves on the slower court in the first game and engaged Yigit in rallies, which the Turkish player could not deal with initially.

The Indian badminton star went into the mid-game break with an 11-8 lead but Yigit clawed back at 11-11 soon after. PV Sindhu won the 12th point with a trademark powerful smash – her first of the game – and it gave her the confidence to attack more.

The world No. 7 Indian did misplace a few returns but did enough to wrap up the first game quickly.

PV Sindhu then switched up her plans for the second game – going long with her serves and returns on the faster side of the court to push Yigit back and finished off points with drops or sudden smashes.

The Turkish player did put up a fight, earning points with some smart cross-court play, but Sindhu recovered soon enough.

The Indian ace played the depth of the court and though she committed a few unforced errors, it only delayed an inevitable victory for PV Sindhu.

PV Sindhu will next face American Iris Wang for a place in the women’s singles quarter-final.

Srikanth, Chirag-Satwik advance

Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth endured a challenging match but eventually overcame compatriot Sameer Verma 18-21, 21-18, 21-11 in the first round of the men’s singles.

Sameer Verma, the 2018 Swiss Open champion, had been in good form at the Yonex and Toyota Thailand Open. He continued that run by dominating Kidambi Srikanth in the first game.

The fourth-seeded Srikanth fought hard in the second game and though he was trailing at the mid-game break, forced a decider. Srikanth was at his best in the third game and wrapped it up soon to take the win.

There was still some cause for celebration in the Verma household though. Sameer’s younger brother Sourabh Verma notched his first victory since 2019, beating local player Christian Kirchmayr in the men’s singles to move to the second round.

Second-seeded Indian pair Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were pushed hard but won 21-18, 19-21, 21-16 against Scottish twins Christopher Grimley and Matthew Grimley.

Chirag-Satwik typically attacked well but the Grimley twins responded with some quick returns and reactions to take the game to the Indians. However, Chirag-Satwik brought out all their experience at the top level to dismantle the Scots’ challenge.

Meanwhile, veteran Ajay Jayaram pulled off an upset 21-12, 21-13 win over higher-ranked Thai Sitthikom Thammasin but HS Prannoy bowed out of the Swiss Open after a three-game loss to Netherlands’ Mark Caljouw.

For play-by-play highlights of the Indian contingent, visit our live blog of Day 2 of the Swiss Open.