*Prannoy in action in Round of 32 at Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2024 in IG Stadium, New Delhi on Tuesday.

New Delhi, 17 January; It turned out to be an uneven opening day for the home players at the India Open as World no 9 HS Prannoy ousted world No. 13 Chou Tien Chen while Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen, lost to junior compatriot Priyanshu Rajawat.

Playing on the badminton courts of KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, Pranoy overwhelmed  Chou Chen from Chinese Taipei 21-6, 21-19. while Priyanshu stunned Lakshya Sen 16-21, 21-16, 21-13 in the first round of the BWF Super 750 tournament.

Prannoy was in command and dominated Chou Tien Chen in the first game. The second game was a close affair with Chou Tien Chen, a world championships bronze medalist, leading 16-11 at one stage. The Indian, also a world championships bronze medallist, staged a fine comeback back to win six straight points and then sealed the match in 42 minutes for his sixth win in the 13th head-to-head contest.

"The planning was pretty spot on in the first game. I got to understand that he was not able to get the length properly in the first game, so I had to wrap it up really quickly before he got into that rally mode. In the second game, as expected, he started to push the speed and was able to finish a lot of shuttles from behind. I didn't hit really hard towards the end of the game and was trying to play softer shots,” said Prannoy after the match.

Prannoy also thanked the crowd for supporting him when the chips were down and said he expected the support to go up as the tournament progresses.

Priyanshu Rajawat, world No. 30, got the better of the 19th-ranked Lakshya Sen in a contest that lasted 75 minutes. Lakshya Sen also made  a first-round exit at the Malaysia Open, the first tournament of the 2024 badminton season, last week.

Rajawat, who was part of the country’s 2022 Thomas Cup winning squad, showcased remarkable resilience to win this crucial match. With the second men’s singles berth for the Paris Olympics up for grabs, the clash between Rajawat and Sen was the highlight of the opening day.

Former champion Sen was the first to get off the blocks as he pocketed the opening game only for Rajawat to step on the accelerator. The 21-year-old, who had lost in the only previous meeting between the two on the BWF circuit at the Japan Open 2023, then showed the maturity to extend the rallies and temper his aggression to win the 75-minute encounter.

After the win Priyanshu said, “Today marked my first good game in quite a while, especially after the break I took due to my back injury. Lakshya is a very good friend of mine but it was important for me to win this match against him and progress to the next round. I stuck to my natural playing style throughout and despite losing the first game, I was determined not to let go of the second and third games at any cost. I am looking forward to the next game against HS Prannoy and want to give my 100% to win.”

He will now face eighth seed Prannoy in the second round.

Meanwhile, India's Kiran George fought valiantly but endured a 12-21, 15-21 loss against Wang Tzu-Wei of Chinese Taipei in his tournament opener.

In women's doubles action, Rutaparna Panda and Swetaparna Panda went down against Yeung Nga Ting and Yeung Pui Lam of Hong Kong 6-21, 7-21.

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*Priyanshu Rajawat in action at Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2024 in IG Stadium, New Delhi on Tuesday.

The Chinese contingent made their mark on Day One of the HSBC BWF Super 750 event with Asian Games 2022 gold medallist Li Shi Feng securing a hard-fought victory in men’s singles and two-time World Championships bronze medallist He Bing Jiao advancing in women’s singles.

While Feng prevailed over 2019 World Championships 2019 bronze medallist Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand with a 19-21, 21-15, 21-15  win, Bing Jiao defeated 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Michelle Li of Canada 21-17, 21-15.

Reigning men’s doubles world champions Kang Min-hyuk and Seo Seung Jae of South Korea kicked off their campaign with a convincing 21-18, 21-14 victory over Garmany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel.

The India Open 2024 offers qualifying ranking points to shuttlers for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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