Saina knocks Carolina Marin out of Denmark Open

NEW DELHI: Ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy made winning starts to their campaigns in the opening round of the Denmark Open Super Series Premier on Wednesday.

Saina beat Olympic gold medallist and former world No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain 22-20, 21-18 in a hard-fought contest in the women’s singles first round.

Srikanth beat compatriot Subhankar Dey 21-17, 21-15 in the men’s singles first round.

Prannoy too made a positive start to his campaign in men’s singles but young doubles specialist Satwiksairaj Rankireddy suffered twin defeats in the opening round.

World No. 15 Prannoy recovered from a 6-11 deficit in the second game to oust local player Emil Holst 21-18, 21-19 in a hard-fought match. It was his third win over the Danish shuttler.

The Indian is likely to play former World No. 1 Malaysian Lee Chong Wei on Thursday.

“It was a tough match. He is a tricky player and I have always played close matches against him. I was trying out a few things in the second game but it didn’t work out. He got points and had a good lead. I was getting tired but I am happy to have won. Hopefully I will be better tomorrow,” Prannoy said.

Mixed doubles combo of Satwik and Ashwini Ponnappa, who had reached the semifinals at Dutch Open last week, lost 19-21, 17-21 to local combo of Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen.

In men’s doubles, Satwik and Chirag Shetty, who had reached the quarters at Korea Open, failed to get across Korean pair of Chung Eui Seok and Kim Dukyoung, losing 21-14, 18-21, 17-21 in the opening round.

Another mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy, who had reached the semifinals at Japan Open, also crashed out last night in the opening round after losing 17-21, 15-21 to Irish combo of Sam Magee and Chloe Magee.

Sikki was upset with service judgments and took to Twitter to vent out her frustration.

“Today’s match has been played by the service umpire and the chair umpire… well done guys #DenmarkOpen they just made me mentally down,” Sikki wrote on her twitter handle.

“What ever rules they make there is of no use… there should be review system in the services that will be the best for the players,” she tweeted.

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