Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen continued his impressive run, trouncing Danish Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in straight games to progress to the men’s singles second round at BWF World Championships here on Monday. Sen’s senior team-mates Kidambi Srikanth and H S Prannoy also won their respective first round matches.
India also registered twin wins in women’s and mixed doubles competition on the opening day which saw B Sai Praneeth bow out after losing in three games to world number 4 Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.The 20-year-old Sen, who had returned with a bronze on his debut in Spain last year, prevailed 21-12 21-11 over an erratic Vittinghus in his opening match. Sen will next face Luís Enrique Penalver of Spain. Praneeth, a 2019 bronze medallist, put up a brave effort before going down 15-21 21-15 15-21 to Chen in little over an hour.It was yet another forgettable outing in Tokyo for Praneeth, following his struggles at last year’s Olympic Games, where he participated without a proper coach or physio to bow out early.Birmingham CWG bronze medallist Srikanth, seeded 12th in the tournament, had to toil in his 22-20 21-19 win over Nhat Nguyen of Ireland, while Prannoy secured a dominating 21-12 21-11 win over Luka Wraber of Austria.Srikanth will face Zhao Jun Peng of China in the second round while Prannoy will be up against second see Kento Momota of Japan.Former Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy progressed to the women’s doubles second round with a 21-7 21-9 win over Maldives’ Aminath Nabeeha Abdul Razzaq and Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq.Ashwini and Sikki will face an uphill task of taming top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China in the second round.In mixed doubles, Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar defeated German duo of Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann 21-13 21-13 in 29 minutes to also make a positive start to their campaign.The Indian pair will meet 14th seeds Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran of Thailand next. In another women’s doubles match, India’s Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh beat the Peru pair of Ines Lucia Salazar and Paula Regal 21-6 10-21 21-14. Sen, seeded ninth, played some exceptional cross court returns from deep forehand to trouble the 36-year-old Danish, who had come into the match with a 2-1 head-to-head count against the Indian.