Bangkok: Fresh off playing a key role in India’s historic Thomas Cup triumph, ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the second round of the Thailand Open men’s singles with a tough three-game win over France’s Brice Leverdez here on Wednesday.
Srikanth, seeded eighth in the BWF Super 500 tournament, won the first round match 18-21 21-10 21-16 in 49 minutes.
He then takes on Ireland’s qualifier Nhat Nguyen, who defeated Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus 21-12 23-21 in the first round.
The Indian men’s team, led by Srikanth, had beaten the powerhouse and 14-time champions Indonesia in the final and won the country’s first Thomas Cup title on Sunday.
However, in the women’s singles, Indian qualifier Ashmita Chaliha lost to seventh-seeded Ratchanok Intanon to Thaliand 10-21 15-21 in a first-round match that lasted 29 minutes.
Compatriot and another qualifier, Aakarshi Kashyap, lost to Michelle Li of Canada 13-21 18-21 to get out of the tournament in the first round.
The mixed doubles pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also suffered a first round exit, losing to eighth seeded Japanese duo Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo 17-21 17-21 in 34 minutes.
Other top Indian shuttles such as PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy, who were also members of the historic Thomas Cup title-winning team, will be in action later in the day.
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