World Championships: Srikanth draws first blood, beats Sirant in style

The Indian shuttler dominated over the Russian to pocket the match 21-13 21-12 to start the mega event on a high.

India's Srikanth Kidambi returns against Russia's Sergey Sirant during their preliminary round men's singles match in Glasgow on Monday.   -  AFP

 

Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth got the better of Sergey Sirant 21-13, 21-12 to start his World Badminton Championship campaign on a high.

He started off on a positive note, deceiving his Russian opponent and maintaining the baseline. In fact, he took lead with an acrobatic crosscourt shot within five minutes, when the scoreline read 3-1.

World watch: Top seed Son made to sweat

Sirant looked nervous from the onset as the Indian kept him busy on the back court for the major part of the battle. Though Sirant rallied to 6-8 in the first game, a five-point lead towards the mid-game period helped the Indian bag the first game 21-13.

Being confident, the 24-year-old shuttler — with a terrific control on the net — started the second game on a high. He kept his cool and looked relaxed; within no time, the score read 11-5. The clinical Srikanth exploited the un

The scoreboard read 11-5 within no time. Srikanth found his advantage points through the errors of Sirant, who couldn’t match up to the Indian’s athleticism.

“I think I really got a long break after the Indonesian and Australian Open. I know how well I am playing now. It is always tough to perform in such big events and I am really happy with the way I have played today. It was a confidence booster,” said Srikanth after the win.

Talking about rankings, the World No. 8 added, “I didn’t set any target for myself, I just came here to play well and that’s all I am thinking about. I didn’t even think about the second round before this match."

Sameer Verma — another promising player from Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad — sailed to the next round of the World Badminton Championships. He beat Pablo Abian (Spain) 21-8, 17-4 (the Spaniard retired mid-way into the game).

The 22-year-old’s forehand artistry escalated his points in the first few minutes. Within no time, he looked set at 3-0. Later, he kept pushing Abian to the back court to make it 5-0. Though there was slight resistance from the Spaniard but his defensive approach led to his downfall. Verma forced his opponent to make errors and thereby, won the first game 21-8.

However, Verma wore the Spaniard out after the seven-point lead mid-way into the second game. From 11-4, he cruised to 17-4 when Abian retired out.

On the other hand, Tanvi Lad beat Chloe Birch 17-21, 21-10, 21-19 in a thriller.