Ace Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen sailed into the pre-quarterfinals of their respective singles events after recording comfortable victories at the Commonwealth Games here on Thursday.
While two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu routed Maldives’ Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq 21-4 21-11 in the women’s singles first round, Srikanth outclassed Daniel Wanagaliya of Uganda 21-9 21-9 in the men’s singles event.
Later in the day, Sen and Akarshi Kashyap joined the senior duo in the round of 16 after notching up contrasting wins in their respective opening men’s and women’s singles matches.
World championships bronze medallist Sen was up against an opponent more than twice his age — 45-year-old Vernon Smeed of St Helena — and the Indian eased to a 21-1 21-6 win in quick time.
However, Kashyap had to toil hard in her opening round match against Mahoor Shahzad and made it the next round after the Pakistani shuttler suffered an injury and retired while trailing 1-8 in the second game.
Sindhu will next face Uganda’s Husina Kobugabe, Srikanth takes on Sri Lanka’s Dumindu Abeywickrama, Sen will square off against Australia’s Lin Ying Xiang and World number 57 Kashyap will meet Cyprus’s Eva Kattirtzi.
However, it was curtains for Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy, who suffered a 18-21 16-21 loss to world number 47 Callum Hemming and Jessica Pugh in the opening round of mixed doubles competition.
Taking the court first, the last edition’s silver medallist Sindhu did not need her ‘A’ game since the Maldives shuttler was no match to her class.
Fathimath produced some resistance in the second game but Sindhu pulled away from 9-9.
Srikanth was crestfallen after losing his singles match against lower-ranked Tze Yong Ng of Malaysia in the mixed team final but the world number 13 Indian seemed to have taken it in his stride as he comfortably beat his rival.
He used his cross-court angled drop shots to good effect to pocket points.
Most of the points which the Ugandan shuttler managed were from unforced errors of Srikanth.