Top Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and Anand Pawar got off to winning starts, notching up victories in their respective opening-round singles matches at the the $ 125,000 Swiss Grand Prix Gold tournament in Basel.
Sindhu posted a comfortable 21-18 21-15 victory over Malaysian Sannatasah Saniru in 32 minutes to enter the second round of the women’s singles event.
Kashyap and Pawar also reached the second round of the men’s singles competition with straight game victories.
But it was curtains for Kidambi Srikanth in the men’s singles, while Saili Rane failed to cross the opening hurdle in women’s singles.
Seventh-seeded Sindhu opened with a 3-0 lead and went on to extend it to 10-3 in the first game. But the Malaysian raised her tempo and managed to reduce the gap to 15-16 before making it 17-17. At 18-18 though, the 18-year-old Hyderabadi girl accelerated to pocket three straight points to wrap-up the opening game 21-18.
The second game was a neck-and-neck battle till 7-7 before the Malaysian opened up a 13-9 lead, but Sindhu held on to her nerves to make it 12-13 and then tie it at 14-14. There was no looking back for the Indian from there and she dominated the proceedings to seal the match in her favour.
The World No. 9 will take on winner of the match between Li Michelle of Canada and Russia’s Ella Diehl in the next round.
Meanwhile, Kashyap prevailed over The Netherlands’ Erik Meijs 21-17 21-15. Kashyap led 6-3 early on, before slipping to 9-11, but he raised his game and pocketed the first game. The second game was a more comfortable ride as Kashyap jumped from 5-4 to 10-4 and didn’t give a chance to his opponent and closed the door on Erik.
Anand, too, didn’t break much sweat before getting past Malaysia’s Kok Pong Loke 21-17 21-10 in 26-minutes.
However, Thailand Grand Prix Gold winner, Srikanth, could not reach the next stage after losing 21-19 18-21 17-21 against Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen. Third-seeded Shixian Wang of China outplayed young Indian Saili 21-8 21-9 in just 31 minutes.
The Indian mixed doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa also lost against the Polish combo of Robert Mateusiak and Agnieszka Wojtkowska 10-21 21-16 13-21.
In women’s doubles, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa made an early exit as they lost to German pair of Isabel Herttrich and Carla Nelte 19-21, 21-13, 18-21.