Malaysia Masters: Sindhu, Srikanth advance to second round; Ashmita, Aakarshi bow out
Kuala Lumpur, May 24 (IANS) Ace Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the second of the Malaysia Masters badminton tournament with their respective first-round wins, here on Wednesday.
In the women's singles, two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu registered a hard-fought 21-13, 17-21, 21-18 win over Denmark's Line Christophersen in the round of 32 of the BWF Super 500 event.
The 27-year-old Indian will face world No. 28 Aya Ohori of Japan in the round of 16 on Thursday.
Sindhu took her time to settle into the match and went into the break, leading 11-8 but soon built on it to win the first game convincingly. Both the shuttlers fought hard to have the upper hand in the second game as Christophersen executed the drop shots well to trouble Sindhu after the scores were tied at 17-17 and took the match into the decider.
After taking an early lead in the decider, Sindhu found herself in a bit of trouble, trailing 13-16. She then dug deep to level the scores and used her experience to defeat Christophersen in a match lasting one hour and two minutes.
In the other women's singles contest, Aakarshi Kashyap lost 17-21, 12-21 to reigning world champion and world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan. On the other hand, Ashmita Chaliha suffered a 17-21, 7-21 defeat at the hands of world No. 9 Han Yue of China.
In the men's singles, former world championships silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth, got the better of world No. 28 Frenchman Toma Junior Popov 21-12, 21-16.
Meanwhile, world No. 40 Malvika Bansod will be up against world No. 8 Wang Zhi Yi in women's singles while India's top-ranked player and world No. 9 HS Prannoy and Commonwealth Games 2022 champion Lakshya Sen will take the court in men's singles, later in the day.
While Prannoy will be up against world No. 6 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, Lakshya will lock horns with former world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore.