K.Srikanth faced unexpected resistance from little-known Lakhanee Sarang and dropped the opening game in the first round of $120,000 Syed Modi International Open badminton tournament here on Wednesday.
Much before ladies top seed P. V. Sindhu raced away to the second round in just 21 minutes after breezing past Anura Prabhudesai 21-9, 21-11, Srikanth took time to get his act right.
Sarang who trailed early on, stayed ahead until 12-9 to raise visions of stretching Srikanth. The defending champion battled right back to lead 14-13 but Sarang was not intimidated. He reeled off seven straight points to reach game-point after Srikanth’s desperation led to too many unforced errors. Srikanth saved one game point and surrendered the opening game.
In the second game of this 62-minute match, it was Srikanth all the way. Leads of 12-3 and 19-6 reflected Srikanth’s resolve to make amends.
But the decider brought out another surge from Sarang who led 5-1 and 9-5. But Srikanth bounced right back to make it 9-all and then controlled the rest of the match to come out stronger.
In the second round, a much-chastened Srikanth was relentless. He dominated Malaysia’s Zulhelmi Zulkiffi 21-5, 21-12 in just 22 minutes to move into the pre-quarterfinals. Here, he will take on Ansal Yadav, who surprised 16th seed Pratul Joshi 18-21, 21-16, 21-16 in 62 minutes.
Leading results (prefix indicates seeding):
Men (second round): 3-K. Srikanth bt Zulhelmi Zulkiffli (Mal) 21-5, 21-12; 9-B. Sai Praneeth bt Ashish Sharma 21-15, 21-10; 11-Sourabh Varma bt Shubham Prajapati 21-15, 21-10; 7-Zulfadli Zulkiffli (Mal) bt Sarath Dunna 21-8, 21-11; 15-Harsheel Dani bt Aryamann Tandon 21-12, 21-17; 6-H. S. Prannoy bt Bodhit Joshi 21-16, 21-8; Ansal Yadav bt 16-Pratul Joshi 18-21, 21-16, 21-16; 12-Emil Holst (Den) bt Chirag Sen 21-13, 21-19; 8-Sameer Verma bt K. Ajay Kumar 21-13, 21-14; (first round): Srikanth bt Lakhanee Sarang 15-21, 21-7, 21-14.
Women (first round): 1-P. V. Sindhu bt Anura Prabhudesai 21-9, 21-11; 5-Dinar Dyah Ayustine (Ina) bt Riya Mukherjee 21-18, 21-14; 4-Fitriani Fitriani (Ina) bt Rasika Raje 14-21, 21-12, 21-7; 6-Hana Ramadini (Ina) bt Preethi Konadam 21-9, 21-6; 8-Ksenia Polikarpova bt Riya Pillai 21-12, 21-11; 3-Beatriz Corrales (Esp) bt Reshma Karthik 21-17, 21-13.
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