The Indian contingent went away with mixed emotions in their opening fixtures of the tournament.
The first round of matches in the All England Open Badminton Championship 2021 saw P.V. Sindhu win her Women’s Singles game against Malaysia’s Sonila Cheah. On the other hand, Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth were knocked out, as they both lost their opening fixtures in the Men’s Singles bracket.
World No. 7 P.V. Sindhu won her match in straight games against her opponent from Malaysia. The Indian won by 21-11, 21-17 in 39 minutes. Sonila Cheah was outplayed by the 25-year-old who barely broke a sweat and marched onto the next round. Sindhu is keen to better her record of being only a semifinalist at the All England Open.
While the first game was more closely contested in the early stages, Sindhu led at the interval by 11-7 and secured it by 21-11. The second game saw the reigning World Champion find her rhythm and win the game and match by 21-17.
Parupalli Kashyap came up against number one seeded Kento Momota of Japan. The World No.1 Men’s badminton player made short work of the Indian by running away with the match by a 21-13, 22-20 scoreline. The game lasted merely 42 minutes as the Indian shuttler conceded defeat in straight games.
In both games, Momota led at the interval and dominated the proceedings from start to finish. He won the first easily by 21-13 and a comeback by Kashyap in the second game was halted by the Japanese as he won 22-20, thereby eliminating the Indian.
In the other match, Kidambi Srikanth also succumbed to defeat, at the hands of a lower ranked opponent. World No. 57 Nhat Nguyen of Ireland caused a massive upset by winning the tie 21-11, 15-21, 21-12. The match lasted an hour as it took three games to separate the two players.
First game was won comprehensively 21-11 by the underdog Nguyen, while Srikanth turned up the heat in the second, winning it by 21-15. The decider saw Nguyen outperform the Indian in terms of fitness and composure, winning it by 21-12 and marched into the next round.