PV Sindhu and in-formLakshya Sen made impressive starts at the Indonesia Masters Super 750 badminton tournament, reaching the second round with contrasting wins in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Reigning world champion Sindhu, seeded third in the tournament, recorded a 21-15, 21-19 win over Thailand's Supanida Katethong in a 43-minute women's singles match. She progressed into the second round where she will play Spain's Clara Azurmendi.
The highlight of the day for India was Sen's stunning win over World No. 10 Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the men's singles.
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Sen, 20, is having a good season. He had reached the semifinals at Hylo Open Super 500 and the final of the Dutch Open earlier this year. The player from Almora, Uttarakhand, displayed tremendous grit to shock Tsuneyama 21-17, 18-21, 21-17 in an hour and 8 minutes.
Sen, ranked 19th in the world, rallied his way from 6-9 down in the opening game to grab a 13-11 lead and then reeled off four straight points from 14-13 to gain an upper hand over Tsuneyama.
In the second game, Lakshya was up 4-0 but the Japanese player clawed his way back at 10-8. The Indian ensured that he had his nose ahead at the interval but his one-point advantage was blown away by Tsuneyama, who broke off from 14-14 to get back into the contest by winning the second game.
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In the decider, Sen fought back from 3-6 to jump to 13-8 with a six-point burst. Tsuneyama made it 16-16 but Sen won five of the next six points to enter the second round.
Sen will now face the top seed and two-time world champion Kento Momota of Japan in the next round.
Sixth seeded Indian men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, and the women’s combine of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy are also in action in the tournament.
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