7:50 PM IST: Back to winning ways for Saina Nehwal
In a day that saw as many as nine matches involving Indian badminton players, there were only three wins as the country endured another mixed day at the Yonex Thailand Open.
The highlight of the day was, of course, former world no. 1 Saina Nehwal taking a commanding win, a victory which will taste extra sweet after all the COVID-related back-and-forth on Tuesday.
"I’m thankful to the doctors, the BWF, and everyone who made the decision for me to play. It was a tiring day, but I’m happy I could come back and play my match,” Saina Nehwal said after the match.
Her husband Parupalli Kashyap though was not so lucky as he was forced to retire from his first-round match after pulling his calf muscle.
Defending men's doubles champions Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy dug deep to win their match while another former world no. 1 Kidambi Srikanth won against compatriot Sourabh Verma.
However, it was not as positive a day for others in the Indian contingent - HS Prannoy, Sourabh's brother Sameer Verma, the husband-wife duo of B Sumeeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy, doubles specialists Manu Attri, MR Arjun, and Dhruv Kapila - as they were knocked out of the Thailand Open.
Join us again on Thursday as we gear up for an exciting third day at the IMPACT Arena in Bangkok. See you tomorrow and have a good night!
7:29 PM IST - Prannoy falls after a tough fight
As it turns out, it won't be a winning return for HS Prannoy. After a great first-game win, the Indian ran out of steam as the eighth-seeded Jia eventually got the better of him.
Score - Prannoy 21-13, 13-21, 8-21 Jia
7:22 PM IST - Jia edges ahead against Prannoy
Prannoy has been competing well with a higher-ranked Lee Zee Jia but the Malaysian has just gained a slender lead going into the break in the decider. Can he make a comeback?
Score: Prannoy 21-13, 14-21, 7-11 Jia
7:05 PM IST - Saina Nehwal makes a winning return
A dominating win to mark her return to the badminton court. Saina Nehwal had very little trouble against her Indonesian oppenent and eased through to the second round with an impressive 21-15, 21-15 win over Kisona Selvaduray.
Score: Saina 21-15, 21-15 Selvaduray
7:00 PM IST - Saina looking to make quick work of Selvaduray
The Indian seems to have stepped on the gas, looking to end the match quick. She's up by six points at the break.
Score: Saina 21-15, 11-5 Selvaduray
6:52 PM IST - Prannoy en route an upset win?
Prannoy, too, seems to be in fine form. The current world No. 28 has taken a 1-0 lead after besting world No. 10 Jia in the first game. An upset on the cards?
Score: Prannoy 21-13 Jia
6:45 PM IST - Saina continues the momentum
There's been no drop in intensity in the Indian badminton star's performance, as she wraps up the first game 21-15 in just 17 minutes. Saina will be eager to wrap up the match in the second game.
Score: Saina 21-15 Selvaduray
6:40 PM IST - Saina with a fine start
Saina Nehwal has raced off the blocks in her match against Selvaduray, taking a 11-5 lead going into the first mid-game break. The Indian seems unwavered by yesterday's ordeals.
Score: Saina 11-5 Selvaduray
6:35 PM - HS Prannoy faces a tough job against the eight seed
HS Prannoy, who has gone through similar COVID issues as Saina in the last few months, meanwhile is squaring up against another Malaysian Lee Zii Jia - the eight seed in the tournament - in Court 1.
6:30 PM IST - Saina Nehwal takes the court
Indian ace Saina Nehwal is all set to mark his return to competitive badminton after almost a year as she faces Malaysia's Kisona Selvaduray in her first round women's singles match.
The past few months have been tumultuous for the London 2012 bronze medallist. Early December, she tested positive for COVID-19. The false positive scare from yesterday didn't do her any favours either.
Can Saina put it all behind her and come up with the performance she needs to emerge victorious? Stay tuned to find out.
6:15 PM IST - No joy for Indian badminton players yet again
Sumeeth and Attri began the second game with intent and edged forward to take a 10-7 lead. But it went downhill for the Indian duo from that point.
Weeraphat Phakjarung and Wongsathorn Thongkham upped the ante and won the second game 21-14, and with it the match.
Score: Sumeeth/Attri 19-21, 14-21 Phakjarung/Thongkham
6:00 PM IST - Sumeeth and Attri narrowly loses first game
Tight game, this one. The Indian and Thai team traded blows right till the end but Weeraphat Phakjarung and Wongsathorn Thongkham stepped up right in the end to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Do-or-die for Sumeeth and Attri in the second.
Score: Sumeeth/Attri 19-21 Phakjarung/Thongkham
5:42 PM IST - B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri look to topple home favourites
B Sumeeth Reddy will be returning to the court for the second time in the day as he teams up with Manu Attri in the men's doubles. The Indian pair will go up against the Thai team of Weeraphat Phakjarung and Wongsathorn Thongkham.
5:20 PM IST - Sameer Verma exits Thailand Open
The second game followed a similar trend to the first, as Sameer Verma started well and then fizzled out gradually.
Score: Sameer 15-21, 15-21 Rhustavito
5:00 PM IST - Rhustavito dominates first game
Sameer Verma started well and kept pace with his Indonesian opponent until the score was 7-7. Rhustavito, though, broke away from there on and won the first game comfortably.
Score: Sameer 15-21 Rhustavito
4:40 PM IST - Sameer Verma takes the court
It's men's singles action next, as Sameer Verma squares off against Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito for his first round match.
3:00 PM IST - Srikanth cruises into second round
Sourabh Verma puts up very little resistance in the second game too as Kidambi Srikanth eases into the second round with a straight-game victory.
Srikanth may come up against another fellow Indian shuttler HS Prannoy, if he wins his match later today.
Score: Srikanth 21-12, 21-11 Sourabh
2:44 PM IST – Kidambi Srikanth leads against Verma
Kidambi Srikanth, the current world No. 14, expectedly, seems to be firmly in control against Verma, who is placed 16 places behind him. Srikanth cruised through in the first game.
Can Sourabh draw level in the second?
Score: Srikanth 21-12 Sourabh
2:25 PM IST – Kidambi Srikanth vs Sourabh Verma in all-Indian clash
In the afternoon session, former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth faces off against fellow Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma in an all-Indian clash. The match is being played on Court 3.
1:30 PM IST - Satwik and Chirag happy with win over idol Dae
Indian duo Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were delighted with the win and revealed both of them looked up to Lee Yong Dae growing up.
Watch what they told the media after the match below:
12:22 PM IST - Parupalli Kashyap retires hurt
Parupalli Kashyap, unfortunately, exited the tournament early after conceding the match midway through the deciding set. He was trailing 14-8 when he retired hurt.
Exact details of the injury are still awaited.
Score: Kashyap 9-21, 21-13, 8-14 Ho-Shue
11:58 AM IST - Much better from Kashyap in the second game
The Indian has made a splendid recovery and gets himself right back in the match. It was toe-to-toe towards the beginning of the second game with Kashyap just ahead at the break.
After the restart, though, the Indian improved further and won the game to level it up at 1-1.
Score: Kashyap 9-21, 21-13 Ho-Shue
11:39 AM IST - Slow start for Parupalli Kashyap
Returning to competitive action after almost a year, Kashyap has seemed rusty so far. Ho-Shue has been in outright control of the first game, giving the Indian no chance.
The Canadian led 11-3 at the mid-game break and wrapped up the first game 21- to take a 1-0 lead.
Score: Kashyap 9-21 Ho-Shue
11:25 AM IST - Parupalli Kashyap in men's singles action
Parupalli Kashyap has started his match against Canada's Jason Anthony Ho-Shue on Court 3. Due to Saina Nehwal's false positive COVID-19 result yesterday, Kashyap - Saina's husband - had to self-quarantine and his first round match needed to be rescheduled.
11:22 AM IST - Sumeeth and Sikki out of mixed doubles
Man and Suet took over the reins of the match in the second game and gave the Indians no opportunities to mount a comeback. The Hong Kong duo were spot on with their short serves, keeping the Indians on the backfoot throughout the second game.
Score: Sumeeth/Sikki Reddy 20-22, 17-20 Man/Suet
11:02 AM IST - B Sumeeth Reddy, Sikki Reddy drop first game
The Indian duo seemed to be growing into the match and took a 20-17 lead. However, the Hong Kong players managed to save three game points before edging out the first game 22-20. Disappointing final few minutes for Sumeeth and Sikki.
Score: Sumeeth/Sikki Reddy 22-20 Man/Suet
10:52 AM IST - Close match for Sumeeth/Sikki so far
Neither of the teams seem to have the advantage in the early phases. Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet hold a narrow one-point lead going into the first mid-game break of the march
Score: Sumeeth/Sikki Reddy 10-11 Man/Suet
10:40 AM IST - B Sumeeth Reddy and Sikki Reddy in mixed doubles next
Mixed doubles action next: India's B Sumeeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy will face off against Hong Kong's Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet - world No. 10 in mixed doubles - in their first round clash.
Our strategy was to attack as much as possible, but not to hurry. We gave up some points in the first game by hurrying too much. But we always knew what we had to do. - Chirag Shetty
10:35 AM IST - Chirag-Satwik through to second round
It's done! Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy advances to the second round of the Thailand Open. It was relatively comfortable for the Indians for the rest of the game and an injury to Lee Yong Dae, who seemed to be struggling towards the end, didn't help the South Koreans' cause.
Score: Chirag/Satwik 19-21, 21-16, 21-14 Jung/Lee
10:22 AM IST - Chirag and Satwik hold the edge in decider
Chirag and Satwik has had the better of their South Korean opponents in the game so far and take an 11-8 advantage into the mid-game break. The Indian duo, however, will need to be on their toes to make sure they don't share the fate of their Indian compatriots Arjun and Kapila, who went down from a similar position in Court 1.
Score: Chirag/Satwik 19-21, 21-16, 11-8 Jung/Lee
10:20 AM IST - Clutch finish by Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi
And it's over in Court 1. The Malaysian pair has scripted a spirited comeback.
After nibbling away at the Indians' lead, Ong and Teo stepped up when it mattered the most. The match seemed firmly in Arjun and Kapila's control with the score 20-18 in their favour but the Malaysians saved two match points before clinching the decider 24-22.
Score: Arjun/Kapila 21-13, 8-21, 22-24 Ong/Teo
10:10 AM IST - Chirag and Satwik back level
The South Koreans tried their best to make up the deficit, but some massive smashes from both Chirag and Satwik helped them to keep their opponents on an arm's length throughout the second game.
The defending champions seem to have found a new gear. Can they ride the momentum in the third game?
Score: Chirag/Satwik 19-21, 21-16 Jung/Lee
10:05 AM IST - Advantage to Arjun and Kapila
The Indians have done well to curb Ong and Teo's rhythm in the third game so far. Some impressive strokeplay from both Arjun and Kapila as they take a three-point advantage into the midway break of the deciding set.
Score: Arjun/Kapila 21-13, 8-21, 11-8 Ong/Teo
10:00 AM IST - Some aggressive badminton by Chirag and Satwik
Chirag and Satwik seem to have woken up in the second game. Some brilliant show of aggression by the Indian duo to draw the opponents to quick rallies near the net. The two are mixing their shots nicely, troubling their opponents.
Score: Chirag/Satwik 19-21, 11-8 Jung/Lee
9:50 AM IST - Ong and Teo mount a comeback
The Malaysians showed a lot of intent to wrestle back the momentum of the match from Arjun and Kapila. The Indian duo won the first two points of the second game but Ong and Teo have completely turned the tables since then. They led 11-6 at the mid-game break of the second game and got only better since then, winning the game 21-8.
With the game at 1-1, everything to play for in the deciding third.
Score: Arjun/Kapila 21-13, 8-21 Ong/Teo
9:46 AM IST - Chirag/Satwik go a game down
Much better from the reigning doubles champions Chirag and Satwik after the mid-game break. The duo looked more agile on the court but the South Koreans held out to take a 1-0 lead even after the Indians saved two game points.
Score: Chirag/Satwik 19-21 Jung/Lee
9:40 AM IST - Arjun-Kapila take the first game
In Court 1, Arjun and Kapila have built on their early momentum and followed through to win the first game 21-13. The Indian duo seem to be in fine touch and will be looking to wrap up the match in the second game.
Score: Arjun/Kapila 21-13 Ong/Teo
9:35 AM IST - Chirag-Satwik on the backfoot in early goings
Chirag Shetty and partner Satwiksairaj, meanwhile, have struggled to get going in their march against South Korea's Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae.
There were some long rallies on show, but a lack of finesse and unforced errors have cost the 2019 champions so far in the game as they trail their opponents by three points.
Score: Chirag/Satwik 8-11 Jung/Lee
9:30 AM IST - Arjun and Kapila off to a good start
M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila are off the blocks and have taken a 11-7 lead heading into the break of the first game. The Indian duo's shot placement has troubled their Malaysian opponents so far with the momentum firmly with them.
Score: Arjun/Kapila 11-7 Ong/Teo
9:15 AM IST - Arjun-Kapila and Chirag-Satwik in men's doubles action
First up, will be India’s men’s doubles pair of M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila. The two will face the Malaysian team of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi on Court 1.
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy are also expected to start their match on Court 2 shortly.
8:00 AM IST: Action-packed day at the Thailand Open for Indian shuttlers
All eyes will be on 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and men's shuttler HS Prannoy. Both players appeared to have withdrawn from the tournament after testing COVID-19 positive early on Day 1.
However, after further testing which proved the previous results were false positive, Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy have been cleared to play by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
HS Prannoy plays eighth seed Lee Zii Jia in men's singles. Former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, meanwhile, will go up against fellow Indian Sourabh Verma.
Reigning Thailand Open doubles champions Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will also begin their title defence against South Korean opponents Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae.