Kashyap, Prannoy register easy wins at World Championships

TOP INDIAN SHUTLLERS Parupalli Kashyap and H.S. Prannoy got off to winning starts at the World Championships with straight-game victories in men's singles at the 9,000-seater Istora Senayan in Indonesia on Monday.

Doubles pairs of Pradnya Gadre-N. Sikki Reddy and Akshay Dewalkar-Pranaav Chopra earned hard fought wins to also advance at the annual event. However, it was the end of the road for two Indian pairs -- Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan and Tarun Kona/N. Sikki Reddy -- who lost their respective openers.

Tenth seed Kashyap took just 31 minutes to move past Dutchman Erik Meijs 21-17, 21-10. With the win the reigning Commonwealth Games champion extended his winning streak over Meijs to 2-0.

Next up, the 28-year-old Hyderabadi will take on Vietnam's 2013 Worlds bronze medallist Nguyen Tien Minh, who has a 4-4 record against Kashyap.

He later took to Twitter to express his feelings.

"Today it was an OK match. Just felt the conditions were tough at the start but got a good rhythm at the end. The opponent played well at the start. Next match will be tougher, so need to prepare well for it," said Kashyap.

Later, 11th seed Prannoy also had an easy win, coming out on top 21-12, 21-16 over Brazil's Alex Yuwan Tjong in 31 minutes. This was World No.12 Prannoy's first match against the World No.109 Brazilian. The Kerala shuttler will next meet Edwin Ekiring of Uganda.

"Good to be back to winning days after injury. I was rusty in the second game but had to change the game a bit to attacking mode and then I got my rhythm back. Good first round for me," said Prannoy.

"Need to trust myself and enjoy the next round too, without taking extra pressure. Never played him (Edwin Ekiring) but he is a good player. Cannot take him easily and I need to be on my toes day after."

Pradnya and Sikki had a contrasting win later in the day. They beat German combine Isabel Herttrich and Birgit Michels 16-21, 21-15, 21-14 in 50 minutes. In Round 2, the Indian women's doubles pair will take on Japanese 14th seeds Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito.

In the men's doubles first round, Chopra and Dewalkar defeated Russian Nikita Khakimov and Vasily Kuznetsov 17-21, 21-11, 21-11 in 44 minutes. They will next take on Danish 10th seeds Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding.

In mixed doubles action, Russian Evgenij Dremin and Evgenia Dimova had a tough mixed doubles match but eventually defeated the Indian pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan. The Russians won 21-18, 10-21, 24-22 in 49 minutes.

Tarun Kona and N. Sikki Reddy also lost their first round match, going down 13-21, 17-21 to Chinese Taipei's Liao Min Chun and Chen Hsiao Huan in 28 minutes.

Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, India Super Series winner Kidambi Srikanth, and two-time bronze medal winner P V Sindhu will start their campaign tomorrow.

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