Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth began his 2021 BWF World Championships campaign with a win over Pablo Abian of Spain on the opening day of the competition, on Sunday. India’s Lakshya Sen also advanced to the second round after getting a walkover from Max Weisskirchen of Germany.
The 28-year old Srikanth beat Abian 21-12, 21-16 in the first round of the men’s singles clash, which lasted for 36 minutes.
The Indian attacked right from the start as his opponent couldn’t match his pace, taking an 11-2 lead at the changeover. The home player tried to make a comeback and fetched a few quick points but Srikanth won the first game convincingly with a 21-12 scoreline.
The Spaniard made a spirited start in the second game but a series of five straight points brought Srikanth back and he went into the interval with an 11-7 lead. After the break, the Indian shuttler continued in the same fashion and won the second game 21-16 to sail into the next round. In the second round, Srikanth will meet Li Shi Feng of China, who advanced by beating Timothy Lam of the United States 21-6, 21-10.
However, the Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost in straight games against Joel Elpe and Rasmus Kjaer of Denmark in the opening round. They lost 16-21 15-21 in a 32-minute clash to make an exit from the tournament.
Earlier in the day, the women’s doubles pair of Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh retired after losing the first game 12-21 to the Dutch duo of Alyssa Tirtosentono and Imke van der Aar.
Meanwhile, reigning champion PV Sindhu will open her campaign against Martina Repiska of Slovakia.