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Kidambi outperforms Sen, Sameer scores upset win


Kidambi Srikanth prevailed over Lakshya Sen in an all-Indian duel to advance to the men’s singles second round of the French Open Super 750 badminton tournament here on Wednesday.

Sameer Verma, meanwhile, registered an upset win over Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia to also make it to the second round.

Srikanth, the 2021 World Championships silver winner, beat junior compatriot Sen 21-18 21-18 in a first round match that lasted 46 minutes.

This was only the second career match between the top two Indian shuttlers. Sen had lost to his senior compatriot in their earlier meeting at the semifinals of the 2021 World Championships to settle for a bronze medal.

Srikanth next faces the winner of the first round match between Rasmus Gemke of Denmark and Nhat Nguyen of Ireland.

The unseeded Verma, meanwhile, beat sixth-seeded Ginting 21-15 21-23 22-20 in a hard-fought upset win in a first round match that lasted one hour and 17 minutes.

Verma made a remarkable fightback in the deciding game. He saved two match points after being 18-20 down.

Verma thus avenged Ginting for his loss in the Swiss Open in March.

He will face Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the second round.

HS Prannoy also made it to the second round of the tournament with a hard-fought win over Liew Daren of Malaysia in the men’s singles.

Prannoy defeated his lower-ranked opponent 21-16 16-21 21-16 in a first round match that lasted one hour and 13 minutes.

Prannoy will next face Lu Guang Zu of China.

In the men’s doubles, the Indian pair of M R Arjun and Dhruv Kapila lost to the fifth-seeded Indonesian duo of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardiant 15-21 16-21 in the first round.





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