Current world champion PV Sindhu crashed out in the opening round of the Thailand Open after losing to Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt on Tuesday. Sixth-seeded Sindhu lost 21-16, 24-26, 13-21 to world No.18 Blichfeldt in a match that lasted 74 minutes.
This was Sindhu's first tournament since the All England Open in March last year after which the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the badminton calendar. Her loss marked the end of India's challenge in the women's singles section of the Super 1000 event as Saina Nehwal was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, world championship bronze medallist Sai Praneeth was also knocked out in the first round of the tournament after suffering a 16-21, 10-21 defeat to world No. 15 Kantaphon Wangcharoen. The match lasted just over half an hour.
The Indians left in the men's singles section are now Kidambi Srikanth, who will face compatriot Sourabh Verma in the first round, and Sameer Verma. All three will play their respective first-round matches on January 12.
Earlier, Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa advanced to the second round of the tournament following a hard-fought win over Indonesia's Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.
Rankireddy and Ashwini defeated their Indonesian opponent 21-11, 27-29, 21-16 in the opening round contest which lasted one hour and 12 minutes.
The Indian duo will next face the Chinese pair of Chang Tak Ching and Ng Wing Yung for a place in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Ashwini and Rankireddy will now feature in the women's and men's doubles matches with their partners N Sikki Reddy and Chirag Shetty later on Tuesday.