The Indian contingent had a shaky start on day one of the Super 750 event.
It was a disappointing first day for the Indian contingent at Malaysia Open as the majority of shuttlers were knocked out in their respective disciplines. The Indian shuttlers did make efforts to pose a tough challenge but unfortunately went down fighting against better opponents.
The opening day saw only two wins across all the disciplines in the Round 1 games.
Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma go down, Prannoy sails to Round 2.
2019 World Championships bronze medalist Sai Praneeth was up against sixth seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia. The former, despite losing the first game 21-15, came back stronger to clinch the second game 19-21. However, the Indian ace ran out of steam in the decider as he one-sidedly lost the third game 21-9.
Another tough men’s singles encounter saw Indian shuttler Sameer Verma taking on seventh seed Indonesian Jonatan Christie. The match was more or less the carbon copy of Sai Praneeth’s. Sameer bowed out in three games against Christie 21-14, 13-21, 21-7.
Despite these early round struggles by the Indian shuttlers, H.S. Prannoy kept his cool against Malaysia’s Liew Daren. The World No. 23 won the first game 21-14 but was stunned by his opponent in the second after losing 17-21. However, the Indian held his nerve and played some gruelling rallies to close the match 21-14, 17-21, 21-18.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty progress
The lone Indian men’s doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty dominated their first-round match against Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee of Malaysia.
The seventh seeds won their match in two straight games 21-18, 21-11 and booked their second-round berth with ease.
No luck in Women’s doubles and Mixed doubles
In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy found it difficult to stand their ground against the seventh seeds Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida of Japan. The Japanese duo easily dominated the Indian pair. The World No. 5 pair hardly broke a sweat to beat the duo 21-15, 21-11.
On the other hand, the debutant pair Manazhiyil Harinarayanan and Ashna Roy lost in a one-sided encounter against the Koreans Jeong Na Eun and Kim Hye Jeong 7-21, 12-21.
In the mixed doubles, Venkat Prasad and Juhi Dewangan relinquished against Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Hun. The Indian pair was also beaten in two easy games 15-21, 9-21.