The star Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth moved into the 2nd round of Super 300 Spain Masters played in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Saina Nehwal looked in no trouble as she defeated Germany Yvonne Li in two straight sets by 21-16, 21-14 to move into the 2nd round. She took just 35 minutes to defeat her opponent. The bronze medallists from the 2012 London Olympics, Nehwal is looking to keep her Tokyo Olympics alive after inconsistent performances. In the year 2020 so far, Nehwal crossed first round only once out of the three tournaments she had played so far. She will take on Ulitina of Ukraine in the 2nd round.
In the men’s Kidambi Srikanth defeated Indian counterpart Subhankar Dey in two straight games at 21-18, 23-21 to move into 2nd round. Srikanth had to fight hard before winning the first game. It was closely fought 2nd game before winning it 23-21. He will take on Ajay Jayaram who defeated C Popov of France in two straight games at 21-14, 21-12.
This is an important tournament for Srikanth also to keep his Tokyo Olympics dream alive as he failed to cross the first-round hurdle in any of these three events.
It was a disappointing day for HS Prannoy as he lost Malaysia Daren Liew in two straight sets at 18-21, 15-21 to go out of the tournament.
Parupalli Kashyap could not cross the first round as he retired midway in the third game as the Indian was trailing 12-14. Kashyap was taking on Coelho de Oliveria of Brazil. The Indian won the first game easily at 21-9 before the Brazil player came back strongly to win the 2nd set at 21-18. It was an unfortunate way to go out as Kashyap trailed 12-14 before retiring hurt.
The mixed doubles pair of Pranav Chopra and Sikki Reddy defeated Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje in three sets at 10-21, 21-16, 21-17 to move into 2nd round. They will take the number 1 seeded Goh S H and S J Lai of Malaysia.