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India Open: Srikanth loses to Axelsen, bows out in first round

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New Delhi: Former World Championships medallist Kidambi Srikanth crashed out in the first round of the Indian Open Super 750 tournament after losing to world no 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Srikanth lost the match 14-21, 19-21 to the Olympic Champion Axelsen, who won the Malaysia Open Super 1000 last week. This was the Indian’s second straight first-round exit of the BWF World Tour 2023 season. He lost to Kenta Nishimoto of Japan at the Malaysia Open last week.

After losing the opening game, Srikanth took full control of the second game, leading 12-4 and later cruised to 15-4. But the Dane made a huge recovery, taking seven straight points to reduce the scoreboard deficit. He then brought the equation to 17-18 and quickly wrapped up the match to sail into the second round.

The Dane will next play Shi Yu Qi of China for a place in the quarterfinals.

In other men’s singles action, former world champion Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew ended Kodai Naraoka’s campaign with a comeback win 18-21, 21-9, 21-7 to set a pre-quarterfinal date with Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark.

Earlier, Saina Nehwal and reigning India Open champion Lakshya Sen progressed to the second round of their respective events while PV Sindhu lost to Thailand’s Supanida Katethong to crash out early.

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