Kidambi Srikanth failed to take advantage of a depleted draw as he suffered a surprising loss in the opening round of the All England Open Badminton Championships to unseeded Nhat Nguyen on Wednesday. Saina Nehwal sustained a hip injury and retired from her match against World No. 12 Mia Blichfeldt. Parupalli Kashyap also lost in the opening round to world champion Kento Momota, who was playing his first tournament in over a year.
PV Sindhu notched a comfortable win to continue her strong form from the Swiss Open earlier this month. She will be joined in the last 16 by HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma, B Sai Praneeth, Lakshya Sen and the doubles pairs of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy.
Charging into the next round 👊
- 🏆 Yonex All England Badminton Championships 🏆 (@YonexAllEngland) March 17, 2021
Seeded eighth, Srikanth lost to 11-21 21-15 12-21 in a match where he looked off colour from the beginning. His match lasted exactly an hour as the player from Ireland came back strongly after losing the second game against the Indian.
Struggling from the beginning of her match, Nehwal trailed 8-21, 4-10 before opting to retire from her match.
Sindhu was relatively untroubled in a 21-11, 21-17 win against Malaysia's Soniia Cheah. The sixth-seeded pair of Rankireddy and Shetty were even more dominant in a 21-7, 21-10 win against Nikhar Garg and Aniruddha Mayekar. Sen beat Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-18, 21-12, while Praneeth registered a straight-games win against France's Toma Junior Popov 21-18, 22-20.
Ponnappa and Sikki defeated Thailand's Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard 21-14 21-12 in a women's doubles match that lasted 30 minutes. Soon after, a confident Prannoy beat Malaysia's Liew Daren 21-10, 21-10. Sameer, too, registered a straightforward 21-11, 21-19 victory against Brazil's Ygor Coelho De Oliveira.
Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kashyap went down in straight games to top-seeded Japanese Momota 13-21 20-22 in 42 minutes.