Top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth made impressive starts to their respective singles campaign, progressing to the pre-quarterfinals with straight game wins over their respective opponents at the Korea Open Super 500 badminton tournament on Wednesday.
Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, trounced USA’s Lauren Lam 21-15 21-14, while Srikanth saw off Malaysia’s world no 35 Daren Liew 22-20 21-11 at the Palma Stadium.
The third-seeded Sindhu, who had claimed the Swiss Open title recently, will next meet Japan’s Aya Ohori, while world championships silver medallist Srikanth, seeded fifth, will be up against Israel’s Misha Zilberman.
Indian men’s doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila also progressed to the second round.
While Satwik and Chirag got the better of Korea’s Tae Yang Shin and Wang Chan 21-16 21-15, Arjun and Dhruv got a walkover from Korea’s Ba Da Kim and Hee Young Park.
Satwik and Chirag, seeded third, will take on Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean, while Arjun and Dhruv face the second-seeded Indonesian pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan next.
Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli, however, bowed out after losing 5-21 13-21 to second-seeded Korean An Seyoung in an women’s singles match.
Sindhu kept a firm grip on her match, especially in the opening game as she opened up a 7-2 lead early and swelled it to 16-9 at one stage before closing it comfortably.
The second game was a see-saw battle initially but Sindhu ensured a one-point advantage at the interval and then reeled off six straight points to come up trumps.
In men’s singles, Srikanth had come into the match lagging 0-3 in head-to-head count against Liew and the Indian had to struggle in the opening game with the Malaysian producing a tough fight.
The Indian managed to be 11-9 up at the break but the Malaysian made it 18-15 at one stage. Srikanth, however, kept his cool and erased the deficit to grab one match point. He squandered one before sealing the game.
Srikanth produced a much-improved show in the second game, running up a lead of 4-0 early on. Liew clawed his way back to 7-8 but the Indian then scored 8 straight points to pull away from the Malaysian.
On Tuesday, World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen and fast-rising Malvika Bansod had entered the second round with three-game wins.