BIRMINGHAM - Eighteen-year-old Lakshya Sen upset World No. 18 Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong in his debut at the All England Open on Wednesday. PV Sindhu also advanced, comfortably beating American Beiwin Zhang. However, Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal, B Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap were all ousted in the first round.
Lee, ranked 11 places above Lakshya, made the better start to win the first game 21-17. Lakshya then dominated the second game 21-8 before riding the momentum to win the third game 21-17, sealing victory in just under an hour.
Sixth seed and World No. 6 Sindhu had a more straightforward path to a win, getting the better of the American, ranked eight places below her, 21-14, 21-17 in 42 minutes. The second game was a close affair, though, with the two players locked at 16-16. After losing the next point, Sindhu won five consecutive points to seal a place in the pre-quarterfinals. Sindhu's head-to-head against Zhang now stands at 6-4 in the Indian's favour.
Both Srikanth and Saina lost to the third seeds in their respective draws, Srikanth losing 21-15, 21-16 to China's Chen Long and Saina falling in a more lopsided 21-11, 21-8 defeat to Japan's Akane Yamaguchi.
B Sai Praneeth was on the receiving end of an upset, the World No. 10 Indian going down without much of a fight, losing 21-12, 21-13 to No. 36 Zhao Jun Peng of China in just over half an hour. Kashyap, meanwhile, spent just a minute on court, retiring after losing the first three points to Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.
In the mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 13-21, 21-11, 17-21 to top seeds Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong of China. In the women's doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy advanced to the second round after their opponents Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams of England retired trailing 5-4 in the first game.
Lakshya will face second seed and World No. 7 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, while PV Sindhu will take on Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea on Thursday, for a place in the quarterfinals.
(Information from PTI was used in this report)