Srikanth, Sindhu advance at Badminton World Championships

Nanjing: Indian stars Kidambi Srikanth and P.V. Sindhu registered contrasting wins to enter the third round of the men’s and women’s singles at the Badminton World Championships here on Wednesday.

Srikanth registered a hard fought win over Pablo Abian of Spain while Sindhu had a much easier day in office, easing to a straight games victory over Fitriani of Indonesia.

The fifth seeded Srikanth needed more than an hour to clinch a 21-15, 12-21, 21-14 victory over his unseeded opponent.

He will face another unseeded opponent in American Daren Liew in the next round. The American defeated Misha Zilberman of Israel 21-16, 21-16 in the second round.

The first game was a closely fought see-saw affair before Srikanth clinched four back-to-back points to reach game point at 20-13. Although the Spaniard managed to reduce the deficit, it was not enough to prevent the Indian from taking the opening game.

Abian made a strong comeback in the second game. He went into the break with a narrow 11-10 lead and took the game away from Srikanth immediately after the restart with an awe inspiring run of seven consecutive points.

The third and decisive game was also a neck-and-neck fight, but the Indian held his own in the closing stages to clinch the issue.

Later in the day, Sindhu did not encounter too many problems, registering a 21-14, 21-9 victory over Fitriani.

The only period of the match when Fitriani managed to match Sindhu was during the early stages of the opening game. But Sindhu took charge after the break, taking six consecutive points to build up a comfortable lead which she never relinquished.

The Hyderabad shuttler completely dominated the second game, scoring almost at will to simply blow away the Indonesian’s challenge.

But it was curtains for other Indians in action on Wednesday. In the men’s singles Sameer Verma lost 21-17, 21-14 to veteran Chinese star Lin Dan while H.S. Prannoy went down 21-8, 16-21, 15-21 to Ygor Coelho of Brazil.

In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down fighting by a 21-18, 15-21, 21-16 margin to eighth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark.

In women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy lost 21-14, 21-15 to the second seeded Japanese pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota.