Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen won their first-round clashes of the 2023 US Open Super 300 event but it was young shuttler Sankar Muthusamy who made the headlines on Wednesday.
The youngster claimed the biggest win of his career as he defeated World No. 32, Nhat Nguyen. The former Junior World No.1 has shown tremendous signs of improvement as he made two successive Super 300 main draws. He qualified for last month’s Taipei Open and now the US Open 2023.
“I don’t look or plan too far ahead. I work in blocks, my focus now is the next six months. Only with short-term goals you can make it long term,” the 19-year-old southpaw told BWF.
Coming back to Sindhu, the double Olympic medallist made light work of her first-round opponent, Disha Gupta. Ranked 136 in the world, Gupta was the local star but Sindhu was just too strong for her as the Indian won 21-15, 21-10 to progress to the next round. Sindhu will face Chinese Taipei’s SY Sung in the second round of the US Open.
Meanwhile, Lashya Sen was high on confidence after winning the Canada Open and also getting a boost in his rankings. Sen also had a very comfortable win over Finnish shuttler Kalle Koljonen. Although the 29-year-old gave some fight in the second game, Sen closed it out without much struggle. He won the clash 21-8, 21-16 to progress to the second round of the event where he will face Czech Republic’s Jan Louda.
However, the biggest news of the day could have been in store when Sai Praneeth had the lead in the third game against China’s Li Shifeng and was on the course to winning the clash. But it was just too good to be true as the Chinese shuttler came roaring back to win the final game and wrapped up the fixture. Sai Praneeth had an 18-13 lead in the third game as he eventually lost the match 21-16, 14-21, 19-21 in a contest that went on for 74 minutes.
Sankar Muthusamy will be aiming to continue his winning run in the 2023 US Open as he will face Israeli shuttler Misha Zilberman in the second round of the event. If Muthusamy and Sen both win their respective second-round clash when they will face each other in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Having made the semifinals in the Canada Open, third seed Sindhu will also look to make the most of her opportunity at the US Open.