Singapore Superseries: Pranaav-Sikki enter 2nd round; Srikanth, Jayaram, Prannoy lose
It turned out to be a disastrous day for the men's singles shuttler as Kidambi Srikanth, H S Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram lost their respective first round matches.
Singapore: India's mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy reached the second round but it was curtains for men's singles shuttlers at the Singapore Superseries here on Wednesday.
Runners-up at the Senior National Championship last week, Pranaav and Sikki prevailed 21-15 21-17 over Indonesian pair of Irfan Fadhilah and Weni Anggraini. They will next take on fourth seeded Chinese combo of Xu Chen and Ma Jin.
However, it turned out to be a disastrous day for the men's singles shuttler -- Kidambi Srikanth, H S Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram -- as all of them bowed out in the opening round, which will affect their World ranking and chances of qualifying for the Rio Olympics.
World No. 22 Prannoy, who had lost to the World No. 1 and top seed Chen Long in 2014 India Open, produced some quality badminton but his efforts were not enough against the two-time World and All England Champion, who won 21-18 18-21 19-21 in a hard-fought match that lasted an hour and 11 minutes.
The Indian grabbed the opening game and also led 8-4 and 18-16 in the second and third games but the experienced Chinese made sure he had the last laugh.
Prannoy had reached the quarterfinals last year and is likely to lose some ranking points.
Up against World No. 28 Hsu Jen Hao, Srikanth, who had a 2-0 head-to-head record against the Chinese Taipei shuttler, squandered an opening game advantage and a 9-7 lead in the second game to go down 21-11 18-21 18-21. It was his third first round exit after India Open and Malaysia Open.
For Jayaram, it turned out to be a repeat of the India Open as he went down 17-21 16-21 to the experienced Marc Zwiebler. It was his fifth defeat against the German in 6 meetings.
India's women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who had earned India a bronze in the 2011 World Championship, continued their dismal run as they too crashed out in the opening round after a 18-21 16-21 loss to Korean combo of Go Ah Ra and Yoo Hae Won
Indonesia's Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth and India's Sikki Reddy also lost 7-21 6-21 to Japanese pair of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito in another women's doubles match.