India’s HS Prannoy faltered in the opening round, but compatriots Lakshya Sen and Saina Nehwal made an impressive start at the Indonesia Masters Super 500 tournament, advancing to the second round of singles events with contrasting victories in Jakarta on Wednesday. World No. 12 Sen, who had a subdued start to the new season with early exits from Malaysia and India in the past two weeks, performed superlatively to outwit Japan’s new sensation Kodai Naraoka, ranked 7th, 21 -12 21- 11 in his opening game.
Saina, bronze medal winner at the London Games, who had reached the second round at India Open, achieved a 21-15 17-21 21-15 victory over Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei to make it to the pre-quarterfinals.
Seventh seed Sen, the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medalist, will next face Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong, while former world number one Saina will take on China’s eighth seed Han Yue.
World No. 9 Prannoy suffered a second straight exit in the first round, losing 19-21 10-21 to Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama. He had reached the semifinals of the Malaysia Super 1000 but lost in the opening round of India Open last week.
Former world number 1 Kidambi Srikanth continued to flatter to cheat as he blew an 18-15 lead and two game points in the second game to lose 10-21 22-24 in 39 minutes.
Priyanshu Rajawat also could not extend his participation in the main draw and lost in the first round 21-18 18-21 18-21 against Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo from Indonesia.
In the women’s singles, Malvika Bansod was no match for fifth-seeded Thai Ratchanok Intanon, who lost 15-21 13-21, while Aakarshi Kashyap was out after losing 17-21 15-21 to Spain’s Clara Azurmendi.
The mixed doubles pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto also couldn’t get over the opening hurdle, losing 16-21 15-21 to French pairing Thom Gicquel and third seed Delphine Delrue.
Rohan kapoor and N Sikki Reddy also lost 21-12 21-23 16-21 against Indonesia’s Jafar Hidayatullah and Aisyah Salsabila Putri Pranata.
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