Singapore Open: India's campaign ends early as Srikanth, Priyanshu exit

Kidambi Srikanth. How Foo Yeen/Getty Images

India's campaign ended at the Singapore Open Super 750 badminton tournament after Kidambi Srikanth lost in straight games to Chia Hao Lee of Chinese Taipei in the men's singles second round in Singapore on Thursday.

Srikanth lost 15-21 19-21 in just 37 minutes against Lee in their first meeting on the professional circuit.

Earlier, 2021 World Championships silver medallist Srikanth beat Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-15 21-19 in the opening round. Chia Hao Lee, on the other hand, beat Japan's Kenta Nishimoto in his opening match after being promoted to the main draw from the reserves.

Srikanth trailed his opponent right from the off, as Lee racked up a 9-5 lead that was squeezed to 11-9 at the interval. The 24-year-old from Chinese Taipei never relinquished his lead, opening it up to 18-12 before closing out the first game by a 21-15 margin.

Srikanth and Lee traded points in the opening exchanges of the second game, before the Indian led 11-8 at the interval. A good run of points saw him all set to force a decider as Srikanth led 19-12, only for Lee to respond with an astonishing run of nine consecutive points to take the second game and the match.

Earlier, upcoming Indian shuttler Priyanshu Rajawat's sojourn ended with a second-round loss to third seed Kodai Naraoka. The unseeded Rajawat, who had stunned world No. 15 Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the opening round, lost to Naraoka 17-21 16-21 in straight games.

Having ousted HS Prannoy in the first round, world No. 4 Naraoka of Japan maintained his lead as the world No. 37 Indian played catch-up throughout to go down in a 47-minute match.

In the men's doubles, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila lost to England's Ben Lane and Sean Vendy 15-21 19-21 in a 41-minute affair.

Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, who was the defending champion of the event, had lost to world number 1 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the opening round. Former World Championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen and London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, too, exited in the first round.

World No. 11 doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and Commonwealth Games women's doubles bronze medallists, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, also crashed out in their respective opening round matches, with India having a dismal showing at the Super 750 event, lasting only three days into the competition.

(With inputs from PTI)