Kiron George and PV Sindhu
– Photo: Social Media
India’s rising shuttler Kiran George, who won the Odisha Open, pulled off a major upset by ousting world number nine Shi Yuqi of China in the first round of the Thailand Open Badminton Super 500 tournament. London Olympics bronze medalist Saina Nehwal and Ashmita Chaliha won comfortably. Lakshya Sen and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty fought their way to victory but two-time Olympic medalists PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma suffered first round defeats.
Took 1 hour 10 minutes to win the target
Kiran George of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy defeated third seed and 2018 World Championship runner-up Shi Yuqi after a hard-fought 21-18, 22-20 win. Kiran will take on China’s Wang Hong Yang in the last-16, who beat Kidambi Srikanth 21-8, 16-21, 21-14 in the first round. Wang Hong Yang had lost to HS Prannoy in the final of Malaysia Open last week.
Lakshya Sen defeated Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei 21-23, 21-15, 21-15 in one hour and 10 minutes. Sindhu went down 8-21, 21-18, 18-21 to Michelle Li of Canada. Sindhu had reached the semi-finals of Malaysia Open last week. B Sai Praneeth also lost 14-21 16-21 to Christo Popov of France.
Saina will play Bing Jiao
Saina Nehwal easily defeated Canada’s Wen Yue Zhang 21-13, 21-7, while Ashmita defeated compatriot Malvika Bansod 21-17, 21-14. Ashmita will take on Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain and Saina will take on China’s He Bing Jiao.
The pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Denmark’s Rasmus and Frederik Sogaard 21-13, 18-21, 21-17 in 59 minutes. Priyanshu Rajawat, who won the Orleans Masters, lost 19-21, 10-21 to Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Ng Gee Yang of Malaysia. Sameer Verma, who recently won the Slovenia Open, was defeated by Magnus Johansen of Denmark 21-15, 21-15.