SINGAPORE: India Mithun Manjunath recorded a stunning win over fellow countryman and world championship silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth to join double Olympic medalist PV Sindhu in the second round of the Singapore Open Super 500 tournament here on Wednesday.
Manjunath, who had reached the Super 100 final of the Orleans Masters in April this year, beat world number 11 Srikanth 21-17 15-21 21-18 in the first round which lasted exactly one hour.
The Indian n°77 world, resulting from the Prakash Padukone badminton academywill then face the Irishman Nhat Nguyen.
Earlier, Sindhu looked in complete control as they prevailed 21-15 21-11 over world No. 36 Belgium. Lianne Tan in ladies’ singles.
The former world champion will next face the Vietnamese Thuy Linh Nguyen.
Manjunath, 24, came out strong as he dominated the opener after taking a 6-2 lead. He held Srikanth at bay to comfortably seal the opener.
Srikanth, however, turned things around after the switch as he enjoyed an 11-8 cushion at the break and continued to extend his lead to return to the competition.
The decider went on a rollercoaster ride with the two beating him, but it was Manjunath, who showed better control as he secured a slim one-point advantage on the breath.
Srikanth managed to take a 16-15 lead at one point but Manjunath didn’t let the chance slip away and clinched the final three points 18-18 to earn one of the biggest wins of his fledgling international career.
Manjunath was in fine form as he reached his first Super-100 final at the Orleans Masters in France last April. He had won four All-India ranking titles including the Senior Ranking Badminton tournament in December last year.
Earlier in the year, he contracted COVID-19 and had to withdraw from the India Open Super 500 in January. He however joined the Indian team for the Asian Team Badminton Championships in Malaysia after a semi-final at Syed Modi International and a quarter-final at Odisha Super 100.
In the women’s singles match, Sindhu was slow to come out of the block, trailing 1-4, but she pulled away 7-7 never to look back. After leading 11-8 at the halfway point, she continued to push forward to pocket the opener.
She continued her momentum in Game 2 with a 5-1 advantage. A three-point flurry helped Tan cut the lead, but a relentless Sindhu stepped up to seal the issue without too much ceremony.

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