Indian ace shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal kicked off the year 2020 on a positive note as both the women badminton players advanced into the next round of the Malaysia Masters badminton tournament after winning their opening round matches. However, the year did not start on a positive note for men’s as B Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth crashed out after losing their opening battles. However, the relief was provided by HS Prannoy and Sameer Verma who advanced into the next round.
World Championship bronze medalist B Sai Praneeth was the first to start the proceedings of the day for the Indian contingent. Praneeth crashed out of the Malaysia Masters badminton tournament with a straight-game defeat against Rasmus Gameke of Denmark in the first round on Wednesday. Praneeth lost 11-21, 15-21 in just 46 minutes, which gave India a disappointing start. The loss of Praneeth hurt India who was already under pressure as the men’s pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, a medal hopeful, were out of the tournament following their first-round loss on Tuesday.
After Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth met the same fate and was shown the door by Chinese Taipei’s Chow Chou. Kidambi bowed out after he lost 17-21 5-21 to the Chinese Taipei player.
India was provided some relief by the Saina Nehwal who after a very long time made it to the second round a tournament. She outplayed Belgian player Lian Tan 21-15 21-17 in just 36 minutes. At the same time, PV Sindhu entered the second round by defeating Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 21-15 21-13.
Indian contingent faced another upset of the day when Parupalli Kashyap lost 17-21, 16-21 to world number one Kento Momota of Japan in the first round of men’s singles. The match lasted just 43 minutes.
The day ended with a silver lining for the Indians as HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma produced upset wins over higher-ranked players. Prannoy defeated Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama in straight games while Verma pulled off an extraordinary win against Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen.