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Srikanth Loses; Unnati, Priyanshi, Kiran Win At Syed Modi International

File photo of Kidambi Srikanth© X (formerly Twitter)

India’s Kidambi Srikanth bowed out with a straight-game loss in the opening round but young Unnati Hooda shocked compatriot Aakarshi Kashyap to make it to the second round of the Syed Modi International badminton tournament on Wednesday. Former world no. 1 Srikanth, a 2021 World championships silver medallist, lost 21-23 8-21 to Korea’s Chia Hao Lee, continuing his dismal run in international circuit this season. The 16-year-old Unnati, who is touted as one of the finest talents in women’s singles, rallied her way to a stunning 15-21 21-19 21-18 win over Kashyap in a 77-minute Round of 32 clash of the BWF Super 300 tournament. The young shuttler from Rohtak will next face Japan’s former world champion Nozomi Okuhara, who prevailed 18-21 21-17 21-10 over another Indian Malvika Bansod in another match.

Anupama Upadhyaya, Ashmita Chaliha also progressed in the women’s singles.

While Anupama defeated Amalie Schulz of Denmark 14-21 21-15 21-9, Ashmita got rid of Polina Buhrova of Ukraine 21-15 21-15 in another match.

In men’s singles, Orleans Masters winner Priyanshu Rajawat, Denmark Masters winner Kiran George and Sathish Kumar Karunakaran entered the second round with fine victories in men’s singles competition.

Priyanshu beat Kazhakistan’s Dmitriy Panarin 21-17 21-19, while Kiran saw off Chirag Sen — Lakshya sen’s brother — 21-16 14-21 21-13 and Sathish got past Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu Kai.

Priyanshu will face Sathish in an all-Indian clash, while Kiran meets Chia.

Sameer Verma, however, went down fighting 9-21 21-17 17-21 to Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei.

In doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto notched up a 21-8 21-9 win over compatriot Samriddhi Singh and Sonali Singh in the first round.

They will face another all-Indian pair — Rutaparna Panda and Swetaparna Panda — in the round of 16. PTI ATK AH AH

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