Copenhagen: India's campaign in the Badminton World Championships got off to a poor start as the pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa lost in the opening round of the mixed doubles event here yesterday.
Tarun and Ashwini went down 16-21 25-27 against the World No. 16 Danish pair of Anders Kristiansen and Julie Houmann in a contest that lasted 46 minutes.
The World No. 39 Indian duo lost the first game tamely but fought back in the second, which was not enough to prevail over their rivals at the Ballerup Super Arena. However, Ashwini along with her women's doubles partner Jwala Gutta, got a walkover in their opener to make the second round after England's Heather Olver and Kate Robertshaw withdrew from the tournament.
Jwala and Ashwini will face fifth seeded Chinese Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao in the second round. The Chinese combination enjoys an unbeaten 6-0 record over the Indian pair.
Later today, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap will play his opening round men's singles match, while men's doubles combo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar and mixed double duo of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan will battle it out in their respective matches.