Indian shuttler Ashmita Chaliha: This is my biggest win

Young Indian shuttler Ashmita Chaliha recorded the first upset of the India Open when she stunned fifth seed Evgeniya Kosetskaya, while top seed PV Sindhu sailed into the women’s singles second round of the tournament here on Tuesday.

Reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew was stretched to three games, while home favourite Kidambi Srikanth registered a convincing win in their respective men’s singles first round matches of the World Tour 500 tournament series event.

Loh defeated Canada’s Xiaodong Sheng 16-21, 21-4, 21-13 while Srikanth packed off former junior World No.1 Siril Verma 21-17, 21-10 to advance to the second round.

PV Sindhu and K Srikanth

Earlier in day, unseeded Chaliha took just 31 minutes to get the better of World No.28 Russian 24-22, 21-16, while double Olympic medallist Sindhu cruised past compatriot Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli 21-5, 21-16 in her opening round. 

Chirag Sen bows out

However, it was curtains for Chirag Sen as he lost 8-21, 7-21 to Soong Joo Ven of Malaysia in the men’s singles opening round. “I haven’t played a lot of matches in the last few years. So, I was nervous and that affected me midway in the opening game. 

‘I played safe’

“But once I won the first game, I was more confident and so I was relaxed in the second game,” Chaliha said after the match. “It is a big event and I was looking forward to playing the Russian, but I played safe and it helped to pull out the match. This was one of my biggest wins. I played her before and had lost to her in straight games so it was my biggest win,” she told reporters in a virtual press conference. Chaliha will next face France’s Yaelle Hoyaux, who defeated India’s Riya Mookerjee 14-21 13-21.

Sindhu will play the winner of the match between Egypt’s Hany Doha and India’s Ira Sharma. Srikanth will face Denmark’s Kim Brunn, who defeated India’s Subhankar Dey 21-19, 18-21, 21-14 in one hour and 15 minutes.

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