Singapore Open Badminton | Mithun, Ashmita registered amazing achievements; Sindhu and Pranai also won

Indian shuttlers Mithun Manjunath and Ashmita Chaliha came into the limelight on the second day of the Singapore Open Super 500 tournament in Singapore on Wednesday with impressive victories over their opponents.

In the men’s singles, Mithun recorded a stunning 21-17 15-21 21-18 victory over compatriot and World Championship silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth, while in the women’s singles, Ashmita stunned world number 12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the women’s singles 21-16.

Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy World No. 77 Mithun next takes on Ireland’s Nat Nguyen, while Ashmita takes on China’s Han Yu.

It was a good day at the office for two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu and man-in-form HS Pranai, as both advanced to the second round with easy wins.

Sindhu was in complete control as Vietnam’s Thuy Linh Nguyen beat world number 36 Liane Tan of Belgium 21-15 21-11.

Pranay, who reached the semi-finals of the Malaysian Masters last week after defeating Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin 21-13 21-16, will face third seed Chow Tien Chen, who he recently defeated at the Malaysia Open.

Saina also came forward

London Olympics bronze medalist Saina Nehwal also overcame her India Open defeat with a 21-18 21-14 win over compatriot Malavika Bansod to enter the second round.

Manjunath, who reached the finals of the Orleans Masters Super 100 in April this year, came out all guns blazing as he dominated the opening game after taking an early 6-2 lead. He kept Srikanth at bay to end the opening game comfortably.

Srikanth, who enjoyed an 11-8 cushion at the break, turned the tables after changing ends and extended his lead to claw back into the contest.

The decider turned out to be a roller-coaster ride, with both slugged out but Manjunath showed better control as he ensured a slender one-point advantage at the breather.

Srikanth managed to take a 16-15 lead at one stage, but Manjunath did not let the opportunity slip and clawed back the last three points at 18-18 for one of the biggest wins of his fledgling international career.

The 24-year-old Manjunath reached his maiden Super-100 final at the Orleans Masters in France last April. He has won four All-India ranking titles including the Senior Ranking Badminton Tournament in December last year.

Earlier in the year, he contracted COVID-19 and had to pull out of the India Open Super 500 in January. However, he made it to the Indian team for the Badminton Asia Team Championship in Malaysia with semifinals at the Syed Modi International and quarterfinals at the Odisha Super 100.

Ashmita, ranked 66th in the world, also put in an impressive performance as she rallied from 5-10 down to zoom ahead with an eight-point spurt to earn the bragging rights.

The 22-year-old from Assam was leading 7-2 in the second game as well. Busanan pulled it back to 6-7, but the Indian clawed back nine points on the trot to once again slam the door on her opponent.

Earlier, Sindhu trailed 1-4 and took time to get out of the block, but she never looked back to pull away from 7-7. After an 11-8 lead at the mid-game break, she went on to pocket the opening game.

The momentum continued with a 5-1 lead in the second game. A three-point burst helped Tan narrow the lead, but a relentless Sindhu settled the issue without taking her game for granted.

Pooja Dandu and Aarti Sara Sunil entered the women’s doubles second round after Chinese Taipei duo Hu Ling Fang and Lin Xiao Min pulled out of the tournament.

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