India Open: Srikanth ousted, Saina and Sindhu win

Defending champion Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu made short work of qualifiers to enter the second round but K. Srikanth suffered an opening round exit against Tian Houwei.

Saina Nehwal in action against Tanvi Lad in the India Open in New Delhi.   -  PTI

Defending champion K. Srikanth failed to play the big points better against World No. 7 Tian Houwei and became the first major casualty of the $300,000 India Open badminton at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.

Srikanth, unseeded this time after going out of the top-10 world rankings, had his chances in the deciding game but Houwei came out superior with a 21-13, 17-21, 24-22 victory. This was the Houwie’s sixth victory in seven meetings with the Indian. This result also helped him avenge the lone defeat suffered last month at Hyderabad in the Asian Team championship.

Ajay Jayaram and B. Sai Praneeth also could not survive the first round. Germany’s Marc Zweibler dumped Ajay and Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro stopped Sai Praneeth in straight games.

Defending champion Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu, the country’s hopes for the ladies title here, made short work of qualifiers to enter the second round.

After Saina rolled past compatriot Tanvi Lad, Sindhu made the second round late in the evening by drubbing Italian qualifier Jeanine Cicognini in quick time.

Results (first round, Indians unless stated)

Men singles: Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) bt B. Sai Praneeth 22-20, 21-13; Marc Zwiebler (Ger) bt Ajay Jayaram 21-12, 13-21, 21-19; Tian Houwei (Chn) bt K. Srikanth 21-13, 17-21, 24-22;

Women singles: Saina Nehwal bt Tanvi Lad 21-7, 21-13; Wang Shixian (Chn) bt Ruthvika Shivani Gadde 21-10, 21-14; Rituparna Das bt Anura Prabhudesai 21-18, 21-15; P. V. Sindhu bt Jeanine Cicognini (Ita) 21-8, 21-8.

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