The Indian men’s singles campaign received three of the biggest blows at the ongoing French Open in Paris after Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and Sameer Verma were ousted following their shocking first-round defeats on Wednesday.
Verma was the first Indian male shuttler of the day to lose. Despite winning the first game 22-20, the 25-year-old lost two straight games by a narrow and identical margin of 18-21 to be on the losing side of the hard-fought match against Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.
Kashyap, on the other hand, was the victim of his dismal performance as he lost against Hong Kong’s Tien Chen Chou in straight games- 11-21, 9-21 on the second day of the tournament.
Just after Kashyap’s embarrassing show, star Indian player Srikanth took the court in a hope to provide some respite to the Indian contingent. He started off in a commendable manner taking the first game 21-15 but failed to sustain his upper hand and went on to lose two straight games 7-21, 14-21 to finish a disappointing day for the Indian camp.
Subhankar Dey is now the only Indian shuttler left in the singles competition after he defied Indonesia’s world number 17 Tommy Sugirato in the first round. The world number 42 had rallied from behind to win the closely-fought encounter 15-21, 21-14, 21-17 on day one.
In the mixed doubles on Wednesday, the Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to South Korean opponents Chae Yoo-jung and Seo Seung-jae 18-21, 17-21.
The medal hopes would now rely heavily on world champion PV Sindhu who defeated Michelle Li in her first-round women singles encounter. The world number six started her campaign with an easy win of 21-15, 21-13 and will next face world number 26 Yeo Jia Min of Singapore in the second round of this ongoing BWF Super 750 tournament.