Fresh from playing a major role in India’s historic Thomas Cup triumph, ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the men’s singles second round of the Thailand Open with a tough three-game win over Brice Leverdez of France here on Wednesday.
Srikanth, seeded eighth in the BWF Super 500 tournament, won the first round match 18-21 21-10 21-16 in 49 minutes.
He next faces qualifier Nhat Nguyen of Ireland, who defeated Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 21-12 23-21 in the first round.
The Indian men’s team, led by Srikanth, had beaten powerhouse and 14-time champions Indonesia in the final to win the country’s maiden Thomas Cup title on Sunday.
However, in the women’s singles, Indian qualifier Ashmita Chaliha lost to seventh-seeded Ratchanok Intanon of Thaliand 10-21 15-21 in a first-round match that lasted 29 minutes.
Compatriot and another qualifier, Aakarshi Kashyap lost to Michelle Li of Canada 13-21 18-21 to bow out of the tournament in the first round.
The mixed doubles pair of B. Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also suffered a first-round exit, losing to the eighth-seeded Japanese duo of Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo 17-21 17-21 in 34 minutes.
Other top Indian shuttlers like P.V. Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy, who was also a member of the historic Thomas Cup title winning team, will be in action later in the day.