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Indonesia Masters: Lakshya and Kiran advance to second round; Prannoy, Kidambi crashes out

Jakarta : Lakshya Sen and Kiran George advanced to the second round, while HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth faced early exits in narrow defeats at the Indonesia Masters Super 500 badminton tournament here on Wednesday.

Lakshya Sen, currently ranked World No. 19 and eyeing qualification for the Paris Olympics, displayed resilience and skill in avenging his Malaysia Open first-round loss to China’s Weng Hong Yang. Sen secured a 24-22, 21-15 victory in his opening-round match, setting the stage for a potential clash against either Malaysia Open champion Anders Antonsen of Denmark or Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in the next round.

Kiran George, a rising star with Super 100 titles at the 2022 Odisha Open and 2023 Denmark Masters, showcased his mettle by bouncing back from an opening game reversal. He clinched a hard-fought 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 win against France’s Toma Junior Popov, earning a place in the second round against China’s Lu Guang Zu.

However, the Indian contingent faced setbacks as HS Prannoy, who recently reached the semifinals at the India Open Super 750, suffered a narrow loss to former world champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore (18-21, 21-19, 10-21) in the opening round. Prannoy, aged 31, had previously faced a first-round exit at the Malaysia Open Super 1000 tournament.

Kidambi Srikanth, a former world No. 1, fought valiantly against Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia, ranked 10th. Despite securing the opening game (21-19), Srikanth couldn’t maintain the momentum, eventually losing 21-19, 14-21, 11-21 in a 54-minute clash. The defeat marked Srikanth’s second successive first-round exit of the season.

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