After a bittersweet first day of the ongoing Yonex Thailand Open, the mens doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and men’s singles player Kidambi Srikanth shone through on the second day.
The 2019 men’s doubles champions, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy got off to a slow start as they struggled against South Korea’s Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae. Rankireddy had shown incredible courage in the mixed doubles on Tuesday. Shetty and him lost the first game, 19-21. However, the reigning doubles champions woke up in the second bout and put up an aggressive performance sealing a win, 21-16. The pair rode on the same momentum in the decider game and emerged victorious, 21-14.
It seemed like a comfortable run for the Indian duo after the first game. An injury to Lee Yong Dae, who seemed to be struggling towards the end didn’t help the South Koreans’ cause. “Our strategy was to attack as much as possible, but not to hurry. We gave up some points in the first game by hurrying too much. But we always knew what we had to do,” Chirag Shetty said.
Former world no. 1 Kidambi Srikanth faced off against fellow Indian shuttler, Sourabh Verma in an all-Indian clash. It looked like a comfortable win for Srikanth as he cruised into the second round with a straight-game victory of 21-12, 21-11. Verma showed little resistance in both the games. Srikanth might go against HS Prannoy if the latter wins his opening fixture.
A string of losses for the Indian shuttlers
The men’s doubles pair of M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila put up a brave fight but lost their opening fixture against Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi.
Arjun and Kapila got off to a splendid start as they took the first game, 21-13. However, things started going downhill as the Malaysian duo made a commendable comeback in the second bout. Ong and Teo wrestled their way back to momentum as they sealed the game, 8-21. The decider previously seemed firmly in the control of the Indian duo. However, things started slipping out of their fingers as the Malaysian pair saved two match points and clinched the match, 22-24.
The mixed doubles pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy lost their first round to Hong Kong’s Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet. The Indian duo seemed to be growing into the match with a good lead. However, their opponents turned the tables in the final few minutes and won the first game. The Hong Kong pair took over the reins of the second bout giving the Indians no chance to make a comeback. The scores were 20-22, 17-20.
A massive shock hit the Indian contingent after ace shuttler Parupalli Kashyap pulled out of his opening fixture midway after sustaining a calf injury. On Tuesday, his wife and roommate Saina Nehwal and fellow Indian shuttler HS Prannoy had received a false positive COVID-19 result. Subsequently the players were asked to withdraw from the Yonex Thailand Open. Even Kashyap was asked to stay under observation and his match was given a walkover.
However, after being proved as false positives all shuttlers were cleared to play. Their opening matches were rescheduled. Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy will be seen in action later on Wednesday.