Same as the Indonesia Open 2022, Day 1 of the Malaysia Open 2022 did not go too well for India. Apart from HS Prannoy, none of the Indian participants could win their respective first-round matches. Although the big names like PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal, and P Kashyap will be in action tomorrow, it was a disappointing start to the campaign.
It started with B Sai Praneeth losing to sixth-seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. Although Praneeth put up a fight in the second game after losing in the first, the Indian shuttler lost to the Indonesian shuttler 15-21, 21-19, 9-21 in 50 minutes. This was the eighth meeting between the players with the Indonesian leading the head-to-head record 4-3.
After Praneeth, Sameer Verma was the second shuttler in Men’s Singles category to lose his first-round match. Verma was taken down by Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie. The seventh-seed Christie beat Verma 21-14, 13-21, 21-7 in 49 minutes.
The losing spree continued for India as the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out of the tournament after losing 15-21, 11-21 to the Japanese duo of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida, seeded sixth. The second women’s doubles pair of Haritha Manazhiyil and Ashna Roy also lost their Round of 32 match. They lost to the South Korean pair of Jeon Na Eun and Kim Hye Jeong 7-21, 12-21.
The Mixed doubles pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Devgan also could not do much against the South Korean pair of Kim Won Ho and Jeon Na Eun in straight games of 15-21, 9-21. With everyone bowing out of the tournament one after the other, HS Prannoy ensured India don’t end Day 1 with 0 wins. The 29-year-old defeated Malaysia’s Daren Liew in three games- 21-14, 17-21, 21-18.
Prannoy was slow off the mark but opened up a healthy 11-7 lead at the break. His strokes penetrated the defence of his opponent, who looked a little passive as Prannoy was rewarded for his alertness and better control in the rallies. The Indian kept putting the shuttles in the right areas and with Liew making some uncharacteristic errors, it meant Prannoy’s lead was not threatened.
The Men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also progressed to the next round after defeating the Malaysian pair of Man Wei Chong and Kai Wun Tee in straight games of 21-18, 21-15.