As it happened: All England Open Badminton Championships 2019 - Day 1

Catch all the updates from Day 1 of the action from All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham. Will Indians stay on course at the end of the opening round?

P.V. Sindhu will begin her campaign against former World No. 2 Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea.   -  Getty Images

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Day one results:

Saina Nehwal bt Kirsty Gilmour 21-17, 21-18

Kidambi Srikanth bt Brice Leverdez 21-13, 21-11

Sameer Verma lost to Viktor Axelsen 16-21, 21-18, 21-14

B. Sai Praneeth beats H.S. Prannoy 21-19, 21-19.

Poorvisha Ram/Meghana Jakkampudi lost to Ekaterina Bolotova/Alina Davletova 18-21, 21-12, 21-12.

Sung Ji-Hyun beats P.V. Sindhu 21-16, 20-22, 21-18.

Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto beat Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy 21-16, 26-28, 16-21.

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01.14 am: Viktor Axelsen takes the third game 21-14 and with that, he wins the match 16-21, 21-18, 21-14.

01.05 am: Viktor Axelsen is in control of the game now. He leads 17-9 and is fives points away from sending Sameer Verma put of the tournament.

00.57 am: The Indian hasn't given up on the game, yet. He is down 9-5 but seems to have regained some confidence.

00.53 am: Yikes. Strong start from Viktor Axelsen. He takes a resounding 8-0 lead before Sameer Verma reduces it to 8-3.

00.46 am: We are into the third game as Viktor Axelsen takes the second 21-18.

00.42 am: Fight back! The Indian reduces the gap to two points but the Dane still leads 16-14.

00.38 am: Oh dear. The Dane has a 14-9 lead and is looking in good form to take the second game.

00.35 am: The game is slipping out of Sameer Verma's grasp now. Viktor Axelsen has taken a 11-7 lead in the second game.

00.30 am: Sameer takes a 2-0 lead, Axelsen makes it 2-2. He retakes the lead and the Dane makes it 3-3. They exchange points and currently sit at 5-5. This is going to be a long game, by the looks of it!

00.25 am: And Sameer Verma does just that. Takes all three points and bags the first game 21-16.

00.22 am: The Indian has let the advantage slip away, almost. He maintains the lead, barely, at 18-16. Needs to win this game and regain his composure for the second game.

00.20 am: Sameer Verma's lead is now down to just one point! Up 14-13 but the momentum is with the Dane.

00.16 am: Spoke too soon. Axelsen gets four points on the trot to reduce the gap. The Indian still leads, 11-7, but the Dane is looking good suddenly.

00.12 an: The Indian is going strong. Axelsen might be ranked higher (World No. 6) but Sameer is playing him with ease. A 10-3 lead in the first game.

00.09 am: Strong start from Sameer Verma. Takes the first point and keep the lead, at 3-1.

00.02 am: Right, it is Sameer Verma vs Viktor Axelsen next. Both players are out on the court warming up. Head-to-head, the the Dane leads the Indian 2-0.

11.51 pm: NOPE. Kidambi Srikanth takes the second game 21-11, and with that ends Brice Leverdez's campaign. The Indian wins the match 21-13, 21-11.

100

Match statistics   -  BWF Website

 

11.50 pm: That seems to have woken up Srikanth! He is in a hurry now and takes a 19-11 lead. Two points away from finishing things here. Can Brice stage another comeback?

11.47 pm: The Frenchman has indeed found his rhythm. He makes it 15-10!

11.42 pm: The seven point leads remains, at 14-7. But Brice seems to have found some momentum now.

11.42 pm: Brice pulls back a few points but Srikanth maintains the gap. He leads the Frenchman 11-4 in the second game.

11.39 pm: The first game seems to have put some confidence into Srikanth as he races away to a 7-0 lead in the second game!

100

Game 1 statistics.   -  BWF Website

 

11.34 pm: 13 minutes into this match, Srikanth wins the first game 21-13. Brice Leverdez started strong but the Indian has raced away since taking the lead for the first time.

11.33 pm: A six point lead opens up now. Srikanth is up 18-12 and very close to wrapping up the first game.

11.30 pm: After starting slow, Srikanth has stayed on top of this game since taking the lead. He leads 13-9 and is slowly closing in the first game.

11.26 pm: Srikanth has equalised at 3-3, and again at 4-4. He then seizes the chance to take the lead for the first time, at 5-4, and then keep it after 13 points.

11.22 pm: Frenchman Brice has started on the front foot. He won the first point and after five points, leads Srikanth 3-2.

100
 

11.16 pm: Kidambi Srikanth and Brice Leverdez are out on the court, warming up. Looks like they are going to be up next, as far as the Indian interest goes.

10: 40 pm:

10:26 pm: Sameer Verma doesn't has a great head to head record against Viktor Axelsen as the latter has won both the games. 

10:07 pm: Next up is Sameer Verma vs Viktor Axelsen.

10:03 pm: Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto have beaten Ashwini and Sikki as they pocket the third game 21-16. The Indians were in the lead as the game progressed but Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto fought back and kept increasing the lead. The Indians tried to decrease the deficit but Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto counter-attacked to win the game and match. 21-16, 26-28, 16-21 is what the final score stands.

9:59 pm: Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto have taken a three-point lead and the Indians need to pull things back. Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto lead 18-15.

9:58 pm: Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto have snatched the lead from the Indians as they now lead 15-14.

9:56 pm: Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto have managed to equalise as after trailing by three points they have equalled. Game evenly poised at 14-14. 

9:52 pm: Ashwini and Sikki have further extended the lead and although Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto reduce the deficit, the Indians are maintaining a three-point lead. 12-9.

9:50 pm: Wonderful grit on display by both Ashwini and Sikki and they have now a three-point lead with the Indians leading 11-8 in game three.

9:47 pm: Ashwini and Sikki have a two-point advantage as they now lead by 8-6.

9:45 pm: It's 5-4 at the moment and the contest is neck-to-neck with the Indians taking the lead once again.

9.42 pm: Ashwini and Sikki have taken the first point in the third game but Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto have equalised in no time.

9.39 pm: Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto finally manage to break Ashwini and Sikki's resolve! he Japanese duo take the second game 28-26.

9.35 pm: It is 24-24 now. Ashwini and Sikki have gone down at every step but fought to get back on level terms immediately.

9.29 pm: Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy equalise at 20-20, then go down 22-21 but fight back to make it 22-22. They aren't letting go of the game easily!

9.27 pm: It has been a tight affair in the second game. The Indian pair still trail, at 20-19, but they haven't given up.

9:23 pm: The Japanese duo of Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto have taken a three point as they lead 18-15.

9.16 pm: At the mid-game break in the second game, the Japanese duo of Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto open up a 3 point lead at 11-8.

9.13 pm: After trailing in the early part of the second game, the Indian pair has caught up with the Japanese pair at 6-all.

9.09 pm: The second game starts on an even note as both the pairs trade two points each, at the start.

India's Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy (green) made short work of Japan's Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto in the first game. (Credit - BWF)

 

9.05 pm: It doesn't take them any longer. Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy win the first game 21-16 against Japan's Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto. Although the Japanese duo took the early lead, it was the Indians who dictated the play from 9-8.

9.05 pm: At 20-16, Ashwini and Sikki Reddy look all set to win the first game.

9.02 pm: Ashwini and Sikki took the lead at 9-8 and have maintained the lead till 16-15 before giving off another point as the Japanese duo of Tanaka and Yonemoto restore parity at 16-all.

8.58 pm: The Indians are holding on for a slender lead at 14-12.

8.54 pm: At the mid-game break, Ashwini and Sikki Reddy have a 11-9 lead.

8.53 pm: The Indians are dictating the terms now. Ashwini and Sikki open up a 10-8 lead.

8.50 pm: Ashwini and Sikki restore parity at 7-7 in the first game. The Indians however do not enjoy a superior head to head, losing both the times the pairs have faced.

8.48 pm: The Japanese duo open up a 6-3 lead in the first game.

8.46 pm: Ashwini and Sikki take a couple of points on the trot to go 2-3.

8.45 pm: The Japanese duo of Tanaka and Yonemoto have taken the early lead of 3-0.

8.43 pm: The Indians are on court and warming up.

8.30 pm: We will have Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy playing their first round doubles match next. The Indian duo will meet Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto.

So, midway through the first day of the All England Open, these are the matches that we will be focussing.

20.00: Ashwini/Sikki Reddy vs Tanaka/Yonemoto

21.00: Sameer Verma vs Viktor Axelsen

22.15: Kidambi Srikanth vs Brice Leverdez

22.30: Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy vs Ou/Ren

23.00: Saina Nehwal vs K Gilmour

01.30: Pranaav Jerry/Sikki vs Chang/Ng Wing

Ousted in the first round, Sindhu had an off-day. You can read the match report, here.

This is what a distraught Sindhu had to say after the match.

“I think I could have not given her big lead at the starting. It was too many points and it was difficult to cover. It was my bad luck probably as my mid court smashes were going to net. I was just hitting out but overall it was good match and she played well. She has good anticipations and there were long rallies. I had trained enough but it was just not my day. Such matches keep happening and I have to take it as a challenge and come back stronger.”

 

 

6.05 pm: An 80-minute contest comes to an end. Sindhu cannot recreate the magic. Sung had seven match points, Sindhu saved five and in the end it was too much for the India. Sung Ji-Hyun beats P.V. Sindhu 21-16, 20-22, 21-18.

6.04 pm: Sung finds the net. Sindhu is holding still. 20-18. 2 match points remain for Sung.

6.03 pm: Sung is all over the place. She goes long, 20-17 now.

6.02 pm: Sindhu saves three match points. 20-16 in favour of Sung.

6.01 pm: Sindhu saves one of the seven match points when Sung goes long, at the baseline. It is 20-14 in favour of Sung.

6.00 pm: Match point for Sung.

6.00 pm: Sindhu trying to crawl back. She dishes a couple of winners by Sung is far away with the lead at 19-13.

5.58 pm: Too many unforced errors now from Sindhu and Sung is running away with the game at 18-11.

5.55 pm: Sung has found the extra stamina and is pushing forward. She sends a body smash and it is 15-9.

5.55 pm: Seven points on the trot from Sung. A forehand winner and it is 14-9.

5.54 pm: A subtle drift sends the shuttle wide and Sindhu is left frustrated. 12-9 in favour of the Korean now.

Meanwhile, this is what Sai Praneeth has to say.

 

5.52 pm: Sindhu goes long, Sung was committed to the forehand defence, Sindhu expertly targeted the backhand but packed more power than required and the shuttle goes over the baseline. Sung leads 10-9.

5.50 pm: A beautifully disguised shot by Sung. Sindhu misses it and it is deadlocked at 9-9.

5.49 pm: A weak return of Sindhu's serve by Sung and it is 9-7 now.

5.49 pm: Top quality shot from Sindhu. A cross-court smash, she is becoming an expert in that in this game, and she takes her third point in a row. Sindhu leads 8-7.

5.48 pm: Sindhu restores parity at 7-7. Excellent work from Sindhu. She works her way to hitting a forehand smash, a deadly one, and Sung is just a spectator.

5.47 pm: Wonderful play from Sindhu. A cross court, good quality, smash from Sindhu. She reduces the deficit to 1 point. 6-7 now.

5.46 pm: An error in judgement at the net ends the point in Sindhu's favour at 5-6 now.

5.44 pm: Looks like the tide has changed in favour of Sindhu. It is 4-5 now.

5.43 pm: Easy pickings for Sung. She sends a forehand winner, an easy smash, beyond Sindhu's reach. 4-3 in favour of Sung.

5.42 pm: Sindhu is now calm and composed. Sung goes wide, at the side line and Sindhu leads 3-2.

5.41 pm: Good aggressive play from Sung. She finishes the point with a accurate forehand smash. 2-all.

5.40 pm: It is 1-1 in the decider. Sindhu has the upper hand, mentally now.

What a way to stall Sung's run. Sindhu saves four match points to win the second game. The surge of the yellow worm in the end. (Credit - BWF)

 

5.37pm: What a comeback from Sindhu. She saves four match points and stays alive in the contest winning the second game 22-20. Sung goes wide in an attempt to return a Sindhu's ripper.

5.36 pm: Game point for Sindhu at 21-20.

5.35 pm: Sindhu draws level at 20-all. What a rally. What a point. She uses the space of the court to perfection and makes Sung go wide.

5.34 pm: Excellent play from Sindhu. She dishes a cross court winner, Sung cannot reach it. The South Korean is floored. 20-19 now.

5.34 pm: Sung goes wide and Sindhu saves one match point. 20-18 now.

5.33 pm: Sindhu goes wide and it is match point for Sung. 20-17.

5.32 pm: Sindhu goes for a big cross court smash but misses the side line by a mile. 19-17 in favour of Sung now.

5.31 pm: Sindhu is getting back. A disciplined performance. She wins two points in a row to make it 17-18.

5.30 pm: A weak return by Sung. She finds the net and Sindhu makes it 15-18.

5.29 pm: Desperate attempt to get to Sung's score and Sindhu is quick on her shots and this time she finds the net. 18-14 for Sung.

5.27 pm: Sindhu cannot find the backline. She packs a punch, more than what is required, in baseline play and goes long. 16-14 in favour of the South Korean.

5.26 pm: The South Korean is holding on very well and Sindhu ends the 26-shot rally when she goes long, at the back line. It is 15-13 in favour of Sung.

5.24 pm: An excellent finish from Sindhu. She targets the backhand back court of the Korean and executes it to perfection. She draws level at 13-all.

5.24 pm: Sung goes wide, on the side line and Sindhu crawls to 11-8.

5.23 pm: A terrible miss by Sindhu. It was a golden opportunity for the Indian as Sung was off-balance but Sindhu goes long. 13-9 in favour of the South Korean now.

5.22 pm: A weak return from Sung and the Indian makes it 9-11.

5.21 pm: At the mid-game break, Sung leads 11-8.

5.20 pm: Good play from Sindhu. She is closing the gap at 8-10 now. A shot on Sung's body and the return from the Korean isn't strong.

5.20 pm: An unforced error from Sung, she finds the net. 7-10.

5.20 pm: Worrying times for Sindhu as she misses connecting a forehand shot from Sung. It is 10-6.

5.18 pm: Sindhu is all over the place. She goes long, at the backl ine and it is now 8-6 in favour of the South Korean.

5.16 pm: Relentless attack on Sindhu's backhand back court by Sung wins her the point. She now restores parity at 6-all.

5.15 pm: Sung's return, to a Sindhu smash, finds the net. 6-4 for the Indian now.

5.15 pm: A forehand smash by Sindhu and holds the lead at 5-4.

5.14 pm: A half-smash, slightly sliced by Sung and she gets the point. Sindhu still leads 4-3.

5.13 pm: Good quality from Sindhu. Gets plenty of time and places a cross-court forehand smash extremely well. 4-2 to Sindhu.

5.13 pm: Good shot from Sindhu. A classic, cross-court drop shot at the net. 3-2 to Sindhu.

5.12 pm: Sindhu goes long, at the back line. 2-all now.

5.11 pm: Sung challenges a call on the side line. It looked out, by a mile. The replay confirms it. 2-1 to Sindhu.

5.09 pm: The second game begins. A 24-shot rally to begin with. Sindhu gets an opportunity to send a cross-court forehand winner and she is on target. 1-0 to Sindhu.

South Korea's Sung Ji-Hyun (green worm) wins the first game 21-16 over P.V. Sindhu. (Credit - BWF)

 

5.07 pm: Sung wins the opening game. She wins 21-16 as the Indian goes wide on the sideline.

5.06 pm: Game point for Sung. Sindhu finds the net again. 20-16.

5.06 pm: Sindhu goes wide, a little impatient as she tries to open a little early. Sung with a 19-16 lead.

5.05 pm: Excellent defence from Sindhu. She managed to lift a smash and put it over Sung's head. Remember, both the players are tall. 16-17 now, with Sung leading.

5.02 pm: Numerous instances of Sindhu's straight drop shot not crossing the net. Sung leading at 16-14.

5.01 pm: Good play by the Korean. Her forehand drop shots have been on target and Sindhu is going wayward in her returns.

5.00 pm: Sindhu just looks a little off-colour now. Her smash finds the net and Sung leads at 14-13.

5.00 pm: Sindhu finds the net and it is 13-all now.

4.58 pm: Four points in a row for Sindhu. Sung tries a cross-court backhand drop shot and fails to keep it in. 12-11 to Sindhu now.

4.57 pm: What a smash! Sindhu jumps and hits a winner at 329 kmph. 11-11 now.

4.56 pm: A very good body smash. Perfect placement to the forehand court of Sung. 9-11.

4.54 pm: At the mid-game break, Sung is enjoying a three-point cushion, leading Sindhu 11-8.

4.52 pm: A shot on the net by Sung helps Sindhu draw level at 8-8.

4.51 pm: A jump smash by Sindhu, targeting the backhand corner of Sung. Gopi Chand asks Sindhu to play deep, in Telugu ofcourse!

4.51 pm: Sindhu loses a challenge. It was out by a mile. Sung with the lead at 7-6.

4.50 pm: A misjudgement in the back hand corner gives Sung a chance to restore parity at 6-6. A 23-shot rally this was, the longest of the match so far.

4.48 pm: Two of the tallest players in the circuit have showed excellent intensity in the match. Sindhu takes the early lead at 6-4 with a beautiful mix of winners and net play.

Domination by B. Sai Praneeth (green worm) over Prannoy. He wins 21-19 in the second game. (Credit - BWF)

 

4.47 pm: B. Sai Praneeth beats H.S. Prannoy 21-19, 21-19 to advance.

4.43 pm: At 19-15, it is Praneeth who is dictating the proceedings against Prannoy.

4.42 pm: Sindhu enjoys a 8-6 supremacy over Sung in their meetings! Sindhu is now ranked 6 in the world while Sung is four places below her.

4.40 pm: We have P.V. Sindhu walking out to play her match against South Korea's Sung Ji-Hyun.

4.39 pm: At 16-14, the see-saw match is now in Praneeth's fvaour.

4.34 pm: Prannoy gives it back in style. He now holds a slender 12-11 lead. He isn't giving up anytime soon!

4.30 pm: Praneeth races to a 10-6 lead in the second. He is gunning to shut down the door on Prannoy.

4.24 pm: Four consecutive points for Praneeth and he is now enjoying a 5-3 lead.

4.21 pm: It is now time for the second game. Prannoy, again, takes the early lead at 3-1.

Well, that's how intense the first game was played out between Sai Praneeth and Prannoy. The green worm (Praneeth) finally prevailed at 21-19. (Credit - BWF)

 

4.17 pm: Sai Praneeth wins the first game 21-19 over H.S. Prannoy.

4.15 pm: At 19-17, Praneeth has the upper hand. The margin of error is very less for Prannoy to make a comeback.

4.12 pm: The Indians are leaving no stone unturned in making this an intense slugfest. It is 15-15.

4.08 pm: And Praneeth takes the lead at 13-11.

4.07 pm: At 11-9, Prannoy was holding on to a slender lead, but Praneeth bounces back to restore parity at 11-11.

4.05 pm: After a 57-minute encounter Poorvisha Ram and Meghana Jakkampudi go down flighting to the Russian pair of Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davletova 18-21, 21-12, 21-12.

4.01 pm: At 8-8 in the first game, the Indians are matching each other with every passing shot.

3.56 pm: Prannoy, after losing the first point of the match, ups the ante and takes the early lead at 3-1.

3.52 pm: Prannoy leads the head-to-head battle with a 2-1 margin. Praneeth will be gunning to restore parity.

3.50 pm: We have all-Indian first round clash. B. Sai Praneeth is up against H.S. Prannoy.

3.45 pm: The first Indians to get on to the courts are Poorvisha Ram and Meghana Jakkampudi. The duo are slugging it out against Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davletova of Russia. The Indians have won the first game 21-12, lost the second 18-21. The decider promises to be a humdinger.

Here is a complete list of all the Indians in action at the $1 million event and their respective match timings. Timings are subject to change depending on the duration of the previous matches in the same court.

Here are the Indians in action

14.45: Poorvisha/Meghana vs Bolotova/Davletova

15.30: Sai Praneeth vs H.S. Prannoy

15.45: P.V. Sindhu vs Sung J

20.00: Ashwini/Sikki Reddy vs Tanaka/Yonemoto

21.00: Sameer Verma vs Viktor Axelsen

22.15: Kidambi Srikanth vs Brice Leverdez

22.30: Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy vs Ou/Ren

23.00: Saina Nehwal vs K Gilmour

01.30: Pranaav Jerry/Sikki vs Chang/Ng Wing

 

A challenging draw stands in the way but India’s top shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will nonetheless fancy their chances of ending a nearly two-decade old title jinx. A look at their draw here.

Steeped in history and tradition, All England Championships was considered the benchmark to ascertain the “world champion” till the official world championship began in 1977. Started in 1899, with only the doubles competition, the All-England continues to enjoy prominence ahead of events offering higher prize-money on the BWF World Tour, writes Rakesh Rao in a comprehensive preview for Sportstar. Read here.