Upcoming shuttler and national champion K Srikanth accounted for World No.11 Yun Hu of Hong Kong in the opening round men’s singles match of the USD 500,000 Malaysia Super Series Premier here today. The 21-year-old prevailed in a battle of attrition that lasted four minutes over an hour, winning 21-17 18-21 21-16 against the former Top 10 shuttler.
This is the Guntur lad’s second-biggest career-win after he’d scalped Jan O Jorgensen last season, and he next runs into Korean No 21 Son Wan Ho of South Korea, for a spot in the quarterfinals at Kuala Lumpur. The Korean who was a title winner at the India Super Series in 2012, is yet another rally-specialist, and Srikanth can expect a similarly long match. The first two games went neck-to-neck with both splitting the advantage while going into the decider. However, Srikanth sprinted to a 7-0 lead in the third set and despite Yun Hu leveling at 14-all, the Indian pulled out the big smashes at crucial junctures to earn a fighting win and progress into Round 2.
Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu too got off to winning starts to the season, notching up straight-game victories in their respective opening round women’s singles matches. While eighth seeded Saina took just 36 minutes to get the better of Indonesia’s Hera Desi 21-10 21-16 in their first ever meeting, Sindhu fought hard before prevailing 21-17 21-18 over her old foe Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia in a 43-minute contest. Saina next faces towering Chinese Yao Xue, while world number 11 Sindhu takes on sixth seed Yeon Ju Bae of Korea in the second round at the Putra Stadium here.
It was, however, a disappointing day for India in the men’s singles event. Anand Pawar and R M V Gurusaidutt crashed out of the event after suffering contrasting defeats in their first round matches. Anand Pawar failed to put up a fight against Zhengming Wang of China and went down 12-21 11-21 in 33 minutes.
In contrast, Gurusaidutt showed a lot of fighting spirit before losing 18-21 21-11 21-23 to Eric Pang of the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, Parupalli Kashyap, ranked 16th, outplayed Marc Zwiebler of Germany 21-19, 21-13 in just 35 minutes, but now has an uphill task as he will up against World No. 3 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark in the second round.
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