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3-min read

Singapore Open: Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and HS Prannoy Enter Round 2

Singapore Open 2019: Sameer Verma outclassed Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon while HS Prannoy battled past Brice Leverdez to advance to the second round.

Abreshmina Sayeed Quadri | News18 Sports

Updated:April 10, 2019, 7:40 PM IST
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Singapore Open: Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and HS Prannoy Enter Round 2
Singapore Open 2019: Sameer Verma won his first round match in straight games. (Photo Credit: Badminton Scotland)

Kidambi Srikanth fought off a solid challenge from Thailand's Sitthikom Thammasin in the first round of the Singapore Open on Wednesday to make it to the second round.

Srikanth beat Thammasin 21-18, 21-18 in just 41 minutes to set up a second round match with Denmark's Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus, who beat Japan's Tsuneyama 19-21, 21-18, 21-13.

Sameer Verma and HS Prannoy won their respective matches on Wednesday in the first round of the Singapore Open 2019 to advance in the tournament.

Sameer and Prannoy put up extremely constrasting victories as Sameer eased through in straight games while Prannoy had to battle through.

For Prannoy, France’s Brice Leverdez was always going to be tricky because the French has solid retrieving abilities but a wide wingspan.

However, Prannoy weathered the storm and then unleashed his own range of strokes to win 11-21, 21-16, 21-18.

After exchanging the first two games, the decider was quite a see-saw battle. Prannoy was on top of Leverdez and was well ahead at one point before the Frenchman fought back to make it 17-17.

From there, Prannoy controlled the shuttle better and played within the lines while Leverdez faltered and Prannoy took the match.

HS Prannoy-Getty

HS Prannoy will either take on world No.1 Kento Momota in the second round. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Sameer, on the other hand, hardly broke a sweat as he romped into the second round with a 21-14, 21-6 win over Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon in just 36 minutes.

Sameer will next be up against China’s Lu Guangzu, who earlier beat Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto 21-17, 21-18.

Mugdha Agrey, on the other hand, was absolutely thrashed by Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-6, 21-8 in 22 minutes to crash out of the tournament.

Chochuwong will take on Saina in the second round.

SAI PRANEETH GOES DOWN FIGHTING

Photo Credit: BAI

Photo Credit: BAI

B Sai Praneeth produced a remarkable fight against world No.1 Kento Momota of Japan in the first round but fell just short 21-19, 14-21, 20-22 to bow out of the tournament.

It was an extremely well fought match where Praneeth gave his all against Momota and produced one of the best performances of an Indian the Japanese player.

Except for Sameer in Swiss Open 2018 (where he won the tournament), Indians' track record against Momota has been listless in recent times. Even Praneeth had lost to Momota last year in the World Championships.

Praneeth fought extremely hard and even showed his improved fitness in a three-game battle against Momota but could not produce the upset.

Praneeth edged out Momota in the first game but was routed in the second. In the decider, Momota had his nose ahead almost throughout the game and even had two match points before Praneeth fought to make it 20-20.

From there, Momota grabbed the next two points and won the match in an hour and 15 minutes.

TAI TZU YING SURVIVES

World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying was almost at the verge of being knocked out of the Singapore Open in the first round before she found her rhythm towards the end to sneak through.

Tai Tzu was up against the wily Beiwen Zhang and required a 44-minute battle against the USA player to make it through 21-14, 10-21, 21-18.

Zhang, who plays without a coach and funding from the USA, has shown her guile on ample occasions to cause upset. On Wednesday, she couldn’t make it though.

Tai Tzu took the first game with absolute ease as expected by toying around with Zhang and playing her around to perfection.

However, Zhang turned it around in the second game as she bettered her movement and began covering the court much better.

Zhang herself is a skillful player and made Tai Tzu frustrated with her returns and fight. Tai Tzu made mistakes after mistake to throw the second game.

Zhang kept Tai Tzu on the toes in the decider and in fact had an upper hand many a times with Tai Tzu looking a tad bit nervous.

However, in the end the world No.1 showed why she is the top women’s singles players as she found some exquisite strokes to close out the match.

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