File photo of HS Prannoy© AFP
World No. 9 and fifth seed H S Prannoy made a stunning second-round exit from the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament after losing in straight games against unseeded Christo Popov of France on Thursday. Prannoy, favourite coming into the contest, looked a pale shadow of himself in front of world No. 40 Popov as he failed to give any fight, losing 8-21, 8-21 to bow out of the men’s singles event. It turned out to be a bad in office for Indian shuttlers as Kidambi Srikanth was the first to crash out on Thursday, losing to Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yiu Lee.
Going by rankings, there was hardly anything to separate the two as Srikanth is placed 20th in the world as against his rival’s 19th position.
It was a hard-fought match, but Lee kept his composure to emerge 22-20, 21-17 winner in the singles pre-quarterfinal contest.
National champion Mithun Manjunath also bowed out in the second round, losing 19-21, 10-21 to Chia Hao Lee of Chinese Taipei.
On Wednesday night, Prannoy had defeated All England Championships finalist Shi Yu Qi of China to storm into the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals.
Two-time Olympic medallist and fourth seed PV Sindhu made a positive start to her title defence on Wednesday, beating Jenjira Stadelmann of Switzerland 21-9, 21-16 in a lopsided opening round women’s singles match.
Sindhu will take on 20-year-old Indonesian Putri Kusuma Wardani, who was part of the gold medal-winning team of the 2022 Asia Team Championships, in her second-round match.
Second-seeded men’s pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will face the Taiwanese pair of Fang-Chih Lee and Fang-Jen Lee.
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