It was a bittersweet day for India at the Denmark Open. Former World Number 1, Saina Nehwal stunned Olympic champion Carolina Marin in straight sets. Unfortunately, title-contender PV Sindhu suffered a straight game loss against China’s Chen Yufei to crash out of the opening round. Glasgow World Championship bronze medallist, Saina defeated two-time World champion Marin 22-20 21-18 in a hard-fought battle. In doing so, she avenged her Japan Open second-round loss to the Spaniard. She will play either Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol or Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya in the next round.
Late in the day, Sindhu, however, failed to break the rhythm of World No. 10 Chen to go down fighting 17-21 21-23 in a 43-minute match. This is her second successive early loss as after clinching the Korea Open. She had lost in the second round of Japan Open last month.
In the men’s competition, Kidambi Srikanth and H S Prannoy made positive starts. Not joining them is B Sai Praneeth who bowed out in the opening round. World No 8 Srikanth overcame a spirited effort from compatriot qualifier Subhankar Dey 21-17, 21-15 to set up a clash with Korean Jeon Hyeok Jin, the 2016 Australian Open runners-up. On the adjacent court, Praneeth failed to erase 11-7 and 11-8 deficits to go down 10-21 15-21 to local hope Hans- Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in a lop-sided contest.
World No 15 Prannoy, meanwhile, recovered from a 6-11 deficit in the second game to oust Denmark’s Emil Holst 21-18 21-19 in a hard-fought match. It was his third win over the Danish shuttler. The Indian is likely to play former World No. 1 Malaysian Lee Chong Wei on Thursday.
Among other Indians in fray, young doubles specialist Satwiksairaj Rankireddy suffered twin defeats in mixed and men’s doubles competition to end his campaign. Satwiksairaj and partner Ashwini Ponnappa lost 19-21 17-21 to local combo of Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen. In men’s doubles, Satwik and Chirag Shetty, who had reached the quarters at Korea Open, failed to get across Korean pair of Chung Eui Seok and Kim Dukyoung, losing 21-14 18-21 17-21 in the opening round.