JAKARTA, Jan 25: India’s HS Prannoy faltered in the opening round, but compatriots Lakshya Sen and Saina Nehwal made an impressive start at the Indonesia Masters Super 500 tournament, advancing to the second round of singles events with contrasting wins here on Wednesday.
World No. 12 Sen, who had a subdued start to the new season with early exits from Malaysia and India in the last two weeks, dished out a superlative performance to outwit Japan’s new sensation, Kodai Naraoka, ranked 7th, 21-12 21-11 in his opening match.
London Games bronze medallist Saina, who had reached the second round at India Open, eked out a 21-15 17-21 21-15 win over Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po to make it to the pre-quarterfinals.
Seventh seed Sen, the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist, will face Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong next, while former world number one Saina takes on Chinese eighth seed Han Yue.
World No. 9 Prannoy suffered a second successive first-round exit, losing 19-21 10-21 to Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama. He had reached the semifinals of Malaysia Super 1000 but lost in the opening round of India Open last week.
Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth continued to flatter to deceive as he blew a 18-15 lead and two game points in the second game to lose 10-21 22-24 in 39 minutes.
Priyanshu Rajawat also couldn’t extend his entry into the main draw, going down 21-18 18-21 18-21 to Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo of Indonesia in the first round.
In the women’s singles, Malvika Bansod was no match for fifth seeded Thai Ratchanok Intanon as she lost 15-21 13-21, while Aakarshi Kashyap bowed out after suffering a 17-21 15-21 loss against Clara Azurmendi of Spain.
The mixed doubles pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto also couldn’t cross the opening hurdle, losing 16-21 15-21 to third seed France combination of Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue.
Rohan kapoor and N Sikki Reddy also went down 21-12 21-23 16-21 to Indonesia’s Jafar Hidayatullah and Aisyah Salsabila Putri Pranata. (PTI)