Day 1 Review of the Indian Team Performance at All England 2021

By: Sandhya
Date: 18 Mar, 2021
Image Courtesy: GoBadminton

As chaos and confusion reigned at the opening day of the All England Badminton Open Championships 2021, the Indian team produced some fine performances led by PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth, Satwik/Chirag, Sikki/Ashwini, Sameer Verma and Lakshya Sen. HS Pranoy also won his match-up whilst the likes of Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal & Parupalli Kashyap had to fight hard but failed to progress into the second round.


The Indian team alongside the Danish & Thai contingents found themselves in a spot of bother as a spate of negative and inconclusive results pushed back the start of the opening day games to 2pm local time. All of the affected players and officials were retested and eventually got a negative result that made them eligible to play.


Sikki/Ashwini got the roceedings underway on court number three and they seemed to be in no mood to waste a lot of time, making a confident start in the early exchanges. While the Thai opponents did catch-up briefly, the Indian duo firmly shut the door on the opening game taking 8 out of the final 10 points on offer. The second game was much more comfortable for the experienced pair, as they eventually took the win 21-14 21-12 in just 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, Parupalli Kashyap was battling the first seed Kento Momota on court 1, while Kidambi Srikanth was locked in a tough fight against Nhat Nyugen on court 2. Having lost the opening game Kashyap gave the Japanese world number one a tough fight in the second eventually succumbing 21-13 22-20. Srikanth also made a slow start but came back in the second to force a decider. He was comfortably placed in the final game, before a seven-point streak from the challenger ended Srikanth’s push for a comeback win.


In the women’s singles action, PV Sindhu held off a spirited second game challenge by Soniia Cheah of Malaysia as she secured her second-round place with a 21-11 21-17 win. Saina Nehwal, celebrating her 31stbirthday, however, had to retire hurt midway through the second game, trailing 21-8 10-4. A thigh injury ended her All England campaign rather prematurely. 


Elsewhere, HS Pranoy was at his clinical best against Malaysian challenger Daren Liew, as he took the match in just half hour 21-10 21-10; while Lakshya Sen also served up some fantastic action in his win over Kantaphon Wangcharoen. Sameer Verma and B Sai Praneeth also brought up impressive wins to start off their respective campaigns. 


In men’s doubles, Satwik/Chirag combined to make lightwork of their challengers, while Dhruv Kapila/MR Arjun came up short against Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi. 


Shikha Gautam/Ashwini Bhat made an impressive debut against the seventh-seeded English pair Lauren Smith/Chloe Birch, but the experienced pair of Meghana Jakkampudi/Poorvisha Ram couldn’t put it across Alexandra Boje/Mette Poulsen as they crashed out in straight games.


In the mixed doubles, Dhruv Kapila/Meghana Jakkampudi got a walkover due to the withdrawal of the Indonesian team whereas Sikki/Jerry combined to give the Danish pair Rasmus Espersen/Christine Busch a tough fight before losing 21-15 21-17.

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