Another singles player Aakarshi Kashyap and doubles pair Krishna Prasad Garaga/Vishnu Prasad Goud also bowed out.

Indians did not have a good opening day at the BWF 1000 Malaysia Open 2023, Kuala Lumpur with only one Indian pair getting through to the next round. A lot was expected from the likes of Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal, former world No. 1, but both couldn’t start the 2023 season on a good note.

Kidambi Srikanth, in the opening encounter for Indian shuttlers, lost to Japan’s Kento Nishimoto in straight sets. Srikanth in the past has played well in patches and in a similar way had his moments against the Japanese but couldn’t hold on to the momentum. Ultimately Srikanth went down (19-21, 14-21) in the game lasting for 42 minutes. Next up he will be seen playing at the BWF 750 Yonex Indian Open.

Saina Nehwal went down to Han Yue from China in three sets (12-21,21-17,21-12). Saina lost the opening set tamely but made a strong comeback in the second game. Nehwal did not start the deciding game on a good note with the Chinese taking away the game by gaining a substantial lead.

Aakarshi Kashyap, India’s number three singles player and ranked 32, lost to higher-ranked Chinese Taipei shuttler Wen Chi Hsu in straight sets (10-21, 8-21). Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnu Prasad Goud had a good chance of making use of the opportunity but lost tamely in straight sets (10-21,18-21). The men’s doubles pair though made a strong comeback in the second set but were not enough to win the set.

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2022 CWG bronze medallist and All England Championships semifinalist Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand started the 2023 season on a great note defeating Yeung Nga Ting/Yeung Pui Lam in straight sets (21-19,21-14). The World No. 16 Indian pair had to fight out hard in the first set, but had an easy second game winning the match comfortably. Next up they will be taking on the Stoeva sisters from Bulgaria who defeated the Malaysian favourites and world number six Pearly Tan/Tinaah Muralitharan. This was one of the major upsets on the opening day and a good start to the women’s doubles section as well.

Tomorrow (11 January) will be an important day with India’s No. 1 singles and doubles player in the men’s and women’s categories in the frame. The most awaited match will be Lakshya Sen vs HS Prannoy, who will be playing their opening match.

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