Srikanth Kidambi fought hard but could not stop the juggernaut Olympic and world champion Viktor Axelsen in the opening round of the India Open Super 750 event, which is part of the BWF World Tour, at the the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The World No. 14 Indian relied on his attacking instinct and played his trademark jump smashes to gain points. But Axelsen managed to stand strong when under pressure to win the match 21-14, 21-19 to register his seventh straight victory over his Indian opponent.
Meanwhile, other Indians in action Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod also ended on the losing side against their higher ranked opponents. While Kashyap suffered a 15-21, 12-21 loss against the former champion Beiwen Zhang of USA, Malvika Bansod lost to defending champion Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand 17-21, 12-21.
In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam bowed out as India finished the day without a win in any of the four matches.
In the day’s other matches, second seed Lee Zii Jia and Denmark’s Anders Antonsen were taken to the distance while a visibly tired Kodai Naraoka of Japan fizzled out in three games against third seed Loh Kean Yew of Singapore. Last year’s finalist…