Third-seeded Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty progressed to the second round of the Hylo Open Super 300 event in Saarbrücken, Germany on Wednesday.
The world number eight pair, which won its maiden French Open title on Sunday, beat Chinese Taipei duo of Lee Yang and Lu Chen 19-21, 21-19, 21-16 in their first-ever meeting in 61 minutes.
H S Prannoy and other Indian men’s doubles pair M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila gave walkovers in their first-round matches.
Satwik and Chirag have had a dream run this year, win the French Open Super 750 and Indian Open super 500 titles, Commonwealth Games gold, Thomas Cup crown and an unprecedented bronze at the World Championships in August.
However, against Lee and Lu, the Indian pair found itself trailing 7-14 in the first game. Satwik and Chirag managed to make a comeback and level the scores at 17-17. Lee and Lu won three of the next four points and eventually converted their second game point to take a 1-0 lead.
The second game was much more closer as the Chinese Taipei pair had a slender two-point lead at the mid-game interval. Lee and Lu were two points away from making it a straight-games win at 19-17 but the world number eight Indian duo won four points on the trot to clinched the second game.
Satwik and Chirag had the upper hand in the third game with an 11-8 lead at the halfway stage. The two increased the gap at 15-10 before sealing the win by converting their first game point at 20-16.
The Indian pair will next face the English duo of Rory Easton and Zach Russ in the round of 16.
Malvika Bansod began her women’s singles campaign with a hard-fought 20-22, 21-12, 21-6 win over Spaniard Clara Azurmendi.
The 21-year-old Malvika had three game points in the first game but Azurmendi reeled off five straight points to steal the opener. However, the Indian bounced back and clinched seven straight points from 14-12 in the second game to take the match to a deciding third game.
Malvika dominated the third game, taking an 11-3 lead at the mid-game interval. She carried the momentum and ultimately confirmed a spot in the second round by finishing the game 21-6 in 49 minutes.
Malvika next faces either seventh-seeded Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland or Thai shuttler Supanida Katethong.
Aakarshi Kashyap also progressed through the second round against France’s Leonice Huet 21-11, 12-21, 21-7.
Saina Nehwal lost to Thailand’s fourth seeded Busanan Ongbamrungphan 15-21, 8-21 in the first round.
Later in the day, Kidambri Srikanth and others remaining Indians will play their first-round matches.
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