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All England Championship: HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth Lose In First Round

Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu progressed to the second round of the women’s singles competition but HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth faltered in the opening hurdle of men’s singles at the All England Championships on Tuesday. World No. 11 Sindhu, a former world champion, won the first game 21-10 but her German opponent, world No. 26 Li Yvonne Li, then decided to retire, paving the way for the Indian to the next round. The 28-year-old from Hyderabad is likely to next face top seed Korean An Se Young, who has proved her nemesis, having defeated her all six times they have crossed paths in international badminton. In fact, only once has Sindhu managed to take a game away from the world No. 1 Korean when they met last time at the Asia Championships in Dubai last year.

An Se Young, who is recovering from a right knee injury, secured her second title of the season at the French Open last Sunday.

Sindhu and Li seemed to have an initial battle when they were 4-4 but the Indian soon pulled away to grab a 11-7 lead at the break. She extended the advantage without much ado.

Eventually, a flick serve was dumped into the net by Li as Sindhu grabbed 11 game points and converted when the German went long.

In men’s singles, it was yet another bad day in office for world No. 8 Prannoy as he squandered an opening game advantage to go down 21-14 13-21 13-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Su Li Yang, ranked 32nd, for a second successive first-round exit following the loss at the French Open last week.

Later, Srikanth, who is racing against time to make it to Paris Olympics, sunk without a trace against top seed and world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen 9-21 9-21, leaving 2022 runner-up Lakshya Sen and Priyanshu Rajawat as the only contenders in men’s singles for the country.

The 23-year-old Sen will face Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen in his opening round on Wednesday.

Aakarshi Kashyap too bowed out with a 16-21 11-21 loss to Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei in the opening round.

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand will face Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti later in the day. PTI ATK AM ATK AM AM

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