File image of Lakshya Sen© AFP
World Championships bronze medalist Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy advanced to the pre-quarterfinals after straight-game wins in men’s singles while veteran Saina Nehwal crashed out in the first round of women’s singles in the Denmark Open in Odense on Wednesday. The unseeded Sen beat sixth seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia 21-16 21-12 in a first round match that lasted 39 minutes to set up a mouth-watering pre-quarterfinals clash against fellow Indian HS Prannoy in the Super 750 tournament.
This was Sen’s third win of the year against Ginting, the earlier two coming during the German Open in March and the Thomas Cup triumph in May.
Prannoy had to toil more during his 21-13, 22-20 win over Zhao Jun Peng of China in 43 minutes. He had lost to the same opponent twice earlier this year — Indonesia Open in June and World Championships in August.
In the women’s singles, 2012 Olympics bronze medalist Saina made a first round exit after losing to Zhang Yi Man of China 17-21 21-19 11-21 in a 48-minute duel.
This was Saina’s second defeat of the year against the same opponent, having lost in the Macau Open in February.
With Saina’s ouster, the Indian campaign in women’s singles ended in the tournament.
The men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, seeded seventh in the tournament, beat the Korean duo of Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae 21-15 21-19 in a 44-minute first round match.
The Indian duo will face Indonesia’s Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Maulana Bagas in the pre-quarterfinals.
On Thursday, Kidambi Srikanth will take the field against seventh seed Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals.
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