India Open: Lin Dan, Saina Nehwal roll; Jan Jorgensen exits

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Lin Dan returns a shot from his opponent at India Open

New Delhi: Badminton superstar Lin Dan moved effortlessly through to the third round of the India Open Super Series, putting in a powerful performance to outclass Hu Yun of Hong Kong 21-13, 21-16 at the Siri Fort Complex on Thursday.Lin Dan returns a shot from his opponent at India Open

 

‘Super’ Dan is making his first appearance in the individual events in India since he completed a hat-trick of world titles in Hyderabad in 2009 and the five-time World Champion and two-time Olympic gold-medalist enthralled the sizeable crowd with delicate touches at the net, powerful smashes and athleticism around the court.

Although the Chinese player was hardly stretched, the man regarded by many as the sport’s best ever showed flashes of classic play to trounce his second round opponent in just 30 minutes.

Men’s second seed and World No.4 Kidambi Srikanth defeated Japanese World No.15 Kento Momota 21-12, 15-21, 21-15. However, Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap’s campaign was halted by Xue Song of China, who won 21-17, 21-11.

Young India’s shuttler H.S. Prannoy pulled off biggest upset of the day when he outplayed top seed and tournament favorite Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark to advance into the quarter-finals. Jorgensen was clearly struggling to find answers to the fast and aggressive H.S. Prannoy, and Jorgensen admitted that the “best player won” this match.

In women’s singles, top seed Saina Nehwal got the better of birthday girl Ruthvika Shivani, who is also the current national champion. The World No.2 Saina Nehwal beat the 18-year-old 21-16, 21-17.

Meanwhile, Thursday was billed as a forgettable day for Malaysian shuttlers as mixed doubles pair Tan Aik Quan/Lai Pei Jing were coming off a hard-fought loss to Edi Subaktiar/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia 19-21, 21-14, 15-21, while women’s doubles eight seeds Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei were upset by Kaka Chan Tsz Ka/Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong 13-21, 21-23.

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