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Denmark Open: Saina Nehwal out, Lakshya Sen advances

Saina Nehwal in action at the 2019 Sudirman Cup. Shi Tang/Getty Images

Lakshya Sen thumped compatriot Sourabh Verma in straight games to enter the second round but it was curtains for Saina Nehwal at the Denmark Open Super 1000 tournament in Odense.

Lakshya, who had finished runner-up at the Dutch Open last Sunday, dished out a superb performance to outclass three-time national champion Sourabh, 21-9 21-7 in 26 minutes.

The 20-year-old from Almora, who had failed to make the cut for the Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup Final after losing his only match in the trials, is likely to clash with second seed and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark next.

Nehwal, who had retired midway through her first match at Uber Cup last week due to a groin injury, couldn't match World No. 20 Aya Ohori of Japan and lost 16-21 14-21 in the opening round. There was further pain in store for the Indian contingent, with veteran Parupalli Kashyap retiring after playing only three points against fourth-seeded Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan. Prannoy H.S. also fell to sixth seeded Jonatan Cristie of Indonesia, losing 18-21 19-21.

The Indian doubles players had a bad day, as apart from Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, none of the others could put up a fight in their respective matches.

While Satwik and Ashwini's gallant battle ended with a 17-21 21-14 11-21 loss to China's Feng Yan Zhe and Du Yue in mixed doubles, Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram lost 8-21 7-21 to the Indonesian combination of Nita Violina Marwah and Putri Syaikah in women's doubles.

Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also went down 17-21 13-21 to second seeded Korean pair of Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan.