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World Badminton Championships: Sameer Verma sails through first round

Sameer reached the second round after his opponent Spain's Pablo Abian retired midway with the score reading 21-8 17-4 in favour of the Indian.

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Published on: August 21, 2017 22:46 IST ]
World Badminton Championships
India's Sameer Verma competes during a match in the Mens Singles.Photo:GETTY IMAGES

India made a promising start at the World Championship with in-form shuttler Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma advancing to the second round of the men's singles competition.

Sameer Verma, who won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January, also reached the second round after his opponent Spain's Pablo Abian retired midway with the score reading 21-8 17-4 in favour of the Indian. 

Srikanth, seeded eighth, who won the Indonesia Super series Premier and Australian Super Series Open in June, defeated Russia's Sergey Sirant 21-13 21-12 in less than half an hour match to set up a clash with France's Lucas Corvee in the next round tomorrow. 

He will meet either England's Rajiv Ouseph or Czech Adam Mendrek in the next round. 

Young mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Maneesha K defeated Hong Kong pair of Tam Chun Hei and Ng Tsz Yau 24-22 21-17 to also start their campaign on a positive note. 

The Indo-Malaysian pair of Prajakta Sawant and Yogendran Krishnan saw off Chinese Taipei's Lu Ching Yao and Chiang Kai Hsin 21-15 13-21 21-18 in another mixed doubles match. 

In the men's singles, it was a nervy start for Srikanth as he missed few points but his smart play at the net and some precise smashes helped the Indian to enter the break at 11-6. 

After the interval, the Indian kept increasing the distance, reaching 15-7 and eventually sealed the opening game with ease. 

In the second game, Srikanth once again zoomed ahead to 11-5 after an initial duel. The duo engaged in some exciting rallies but the Indian was always ahead. 

Srikanth eventually held a comfortable eight-match points advantage when his rival hit the net. Sirant's next return also found the net as Srikanth sealed the match comfortably. 

"I had a decent break after the Indonesian Open and I worked hard after that before coming in here. First rounds can always be tough in big Championships like this and I am happy that I came through it. It is a confidence booster," said Srikanth. 

"I have not set any targets as such, I just want to play and I want to go match by match. I did not think about the second round before this match and now I am only thinking about the next match," he added. 

Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu will open their campaign tomorrow, having got byes in the first round.

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