Sindhu, Srikanth enter second round, Prannoy, Sen beat higher-ranked opponents

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24: Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu had to dig deep to beat Denmark’s Line Christophersen in the women’s singles opening round, while Lakshya Sen stunned world No. 4 Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in men’s singles of the Malaysia Masters, here on Wednesday.

Sindhu, seeded sixth, had to toil for one hour and two minutes to get the better of Christophersen 21-13 17-21 21-18 and maintain her superiority over the world no. 33 Dane, who the Indian had defeated four times earlier.

The two-time Olympic medallist Indian, ranked 13th in the world, will next play Japan’s Aya Ohori.

World No. 22 Sen got the better of seventh seed Yew in three games 21-10 16-21 21-9 in a gruelling round of 32 match that lasted 55 minutes. Sen faces Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong in the pre-quarterfinals.

Earlier, HS Prannoy dished out a superlative display to stun world number six Tien Chen Chou of Chinese Taipei. World no. 9 Prannoy held his nerves after going a game down to upset Chou, ranked sixth, 16-21 21-14 21-13 in his opening match to enter the pre-quarterfinals.

Prannoy will next lock horns against Shi Feng Li of China.

The other Indian man to enter the second round was Kidambi Srikanth, who defeated Toma Junior Popov of France 21-12 21-16.

He will be next be up against Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn, seeded eighth.

However, it was curtains for qualifier Ashmita Chaliha, Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod in the women’s singles competition as they suffered straight-game defeats to crash out in the opening round.

While Ashmita lost 17-21 7-21 against fourth seed Yue Han of China, Aakarshi was shown the door by top seed Japanese Akane Yamaguchi 17-21 12-21.

Malvika was no match for second seed Zhi Yi Wang of China as she lost 11-21 13-21. (PTI)