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HS Prannoy, Satwik/Chirag start with wins

HS Prannoy and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty progressed to the second round of the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament with straight-game wins over their opponents on Tuesday.

While HS Prannoy got better than Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, Satwik and Chirag defeated Sean Vendy and Ben Lane of England.

31-year-old Prannoy, who had missed a couple of tournaments due to a back injury, registered a 21-18 22-20 win over the world number 12 Chen in the opening round, thus avenging the loss that he suffered last week in Japan Masters.

HS Prannoy came determined to win the match today and took no half-measures in the match. After starting with the first game with a big winner, HS was lagging 6-9 at one stage.

Prannoy turned the tables with four straight points to make it 12-10. Chen came close at 12-14 but the Indian didn’t give much of a chance to his rival to comfortably pocket the opening game.

Chou started the second game with a lead of 6-3 but HS Prannoy kept him on his toes, despite lagging for the most part. The Indian had managed to eke out an 8-6 lead but Chen moved to 12-10 and kept his nose ahead till 18-16 when Prannoy surpassed him to shut the door on his opponent.

In the men’s doubles, top seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who are the reigning Asian Games gold medallists, comfortably prevailed 21-13 21-10 over England’s Ben Lane and Sean Vendy to also make a good start.

The Commonwealth Games champions will meet Japan’s Akira Koga and Taichi Saito next.

In women’s singles, Aakarshi Kashyap found Zhang Yi Man of China too hot to handle, going down 12-21 14-21 in 33 minutes. With Aakarshi going out, India is left without any representation in the category.

Priyanshu Rajawat, Lakshay Sen, and Kidambi Srikanth will take the court tomorrow in the men’s singles first round.

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