Thailand Open: Srikanth, Sindhu survive tough openers; Saina, Prannoy lose

PV Sindhu JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

PV Sindhu was made to battle while Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy, the protagonists of India's historic Thomas Cup triumph, suffered contrasting fates in the opening round of Thailand Open on Wednesday.

Sindhu, seeded sixth, staved off a spirited challenge from world No 62, USA's Lauren Lam 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 to set up a clash with Sim Yujin, who had played a pivotal role in Korea's Uber Cup win.

Fresh from playing a major role in the Thomas Cup victory, Srikanth, seeded eighth, produced a gritty show to get the better of Brice Leverdez of France 18-21, 21-10, 21-16 in 49 minutes. The world No 11 Indian will next face Ireland's Nhat Nguyen, who defeated Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 21-12, 23-21 in the first round.

Prannoy, who won the decisive third singles during the quarterfinals and semifinals of Thomas Cup, went down fighting 17-21, 21-15, 15-21 to Daren Liew of Malaysia. It was also curtains for B Sai Preneeth and Sourabh Verma in the men's singles opening round. While Praneeth lost 12-21 13-21 to Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand, Sourabh was shown the door by Toma Junior Popov of France 20-22 12-21.

In other women's singles, Malvika Bansod battled her way into the second round with a fighting 17-21 21-15 21-11 win over Ukraine's Maria Ultina. She will next face Line Christopherson of Denmark.

However, Saina Nehwal battled hard for 50 minutes before losing 21-11, 15-21, 17-21 to Korean Kim Gaeun in the women's singles first round. Indian qualifier Ashmita Chaliha lost to seventh-seeded Ratchanok Intanon of Thaliand 10-21, 15-21 in a first round match that lasted 29 minutes. Compatriot and another qualifier, Aakarshi Kashyap lost to Michelle Li of Canada 13-21, 18-21 to bow out of the tournament in the first round.

In the doubles, the mixed doubles pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also suffered a first-round exit, losing to the eighth-seeded Japanese duo of Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo 17-21, 17-21 in 34 minutes.

Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam beat Thailand's Kittipak Dubthuk and Prinda Pattanawaritthipan 21-12, 21-17 to enter the second round. Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto got a walkover from USA's Mathew Fogarty and Isabel Zhong to also advance to the second round.