All the Indian male shuttlers in the singles competition, including defending champion Kidambi Srikanth, were knocked out in the first round of the India Open at the Siri Fort Complex in Delhi, Wednesday. The women's doubles pairing of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa also exited in the first round. However, women's singles players -- PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal -- looked good to march into the second round of the competition.
Saina and Sindhu did not have any trouble in winning their respective matches against Tanvi Lad and Jeanine Cicognini. Saina defeated Lad with some good touches at the net and the baseline, with the final score reading 21-7, 21-13. Sindhu was even more impressive as she demolished her opponent with ease 21-8, 21-8.
Srikanth's match against seventh seed Tian Houwei was expected to be a tough affair, with the Indian player second favourite to reach the second round. Srikanth was not overawed by his opponent, as he came up with a brilliant effort, which unfortunately, was not enough to defeat Houwei.
Srikanth took the match the full distance, after losing the first game 21-13. Srikanth showed strong character to come back and clinch the second game, which led to some sensational badminton in the third. Houwei prevailed over Srikanth 21-13, 17-21, 24-22.
Though Srikanth's first round opponent was tough, B Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram were expected to defeat their respective opponents -- Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Marc Zwiebler. But, both the Indian players lost their respective matches, which was a huge disappointment.
Kuncoro defeated Praneeth in straight games 22-20, 21-13. Zwiebler defeated Jayaram in an entertaining match, which went down to the wire. Jayaram could have defeated the German, but lost his way when he had a healthy lead in the third game. Jayaram lost 21-12, 13-21, 21-19.
In the women's doubles, India suffered a major shock as Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost their way after clinching the first game with ease. Their opponents, Go Ah Ra and Yoo Hae Won looked good in the second and third game, to clinch the match 17-21, 21-14, 21-17.
India's established men's pair, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, though, reached the second round defeating Vineeth Manuel and S Sanjeeth 21-13, 21-13.