Srikanth makes winning start at Swiss Open, Chirag-Satwiksairaj pair stuns All England champions

BASEL,  Mar 23: Seventh seed Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal made a winning start in the singles competition while Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy battled past All England champions Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana to progress in the Swiss Open here on Wednesday.

Srikanth defeated Mads Christophersen in straight games in the men’s singles opening round. The Indian beat the Danish player 21-16, 21-17 in a match lasting 32 minutes.

Parupalli Kashyap too cruised to a 21-17, 21-9 win over France’s Enogat Roy to enter the second round.

Third seeds Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy got past Indonesia’s Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana after losing the first game in the men’s doubles opening round. The final scoreline read 17-21, 21-11, 21-18.

The Indonesian duo had won the All England title last week.

In the women’s singles, Ashmita Chaliha scripted a come-from-behind win over France’s LéOnice Huet, prevailing 19-21, 21-10, 21-11.

Later in the day, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina outplayed Yaelle Hoyaux 21-8, 21-13 in her opening round fixture.

The mixed doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sumeeth Reddy lost their first round match and so did the women’s doubles combine of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand.

Star shuttler P V Sindhu will play her opening round later tonight.

The Chinese badminton team pulled out of the Super 300 tournament which began on Tuesday due to multiple COVID-19 cases and injuries to its players.  (PTI)