K Srikanth returns to Russia's Sergey Sirant during the World Championships in Glasgow yesterday
K Srikanth returns to Russia's Sergey Sirant during the World Championships in Glasgow yesterday

India's badminton stars got off to an all-win start in the opening session of the first day of the World Championships yesterday.

Srikanth Kidambi, touted as the man to watch out for following his two Super Series wins in Indonesia and Australia, did not break a sweat during his clinical demolition of he Russian Open winner, Sergey Sirant 21-13, 21-12 in 29 minutes in front of an adoring crowd.

Indian pair battle hard
Almost simultaneously, the mixed doubles pairing, never the strongest suit in Indian badminton, saw 17-year-old Satwiksairaj Ranki Reddy combine with K Maneesha, 22, beat a much higher ranked pair from Hong Kong, Tam Chun Hei and Ng Tsz Yau in two hard-fought games 24-22, 21-17.

A little later, buttressing India's growing stature in world badminton was World No. 29, Sameer Verma, who beat Spaniard, Pablo Abian 21-8, 17-4 as the latter, apparently injured, retired in a match where he was never in the fray. Verma will now meet the winner of 16th seed Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) and Czech Adam Mendrek.

The soft-spoken Srikanth, trying to underplay his chances and work on a step-by-step approach, said, "I have not set any targets as such, I just want to play and I want to go match by match. I did not think about the second before this match and now I am only thinking about second round."

'First rounds can be tricky'
But show his understanding of big-ticket events, and the early round pitfalls, they carry, Srikanth added, "First rounds can always be tough in big Championships like this and I am happy that I came through it. It is a confidence booster. The bigger tests will come later. After the Indonesian Open, I had a long break but only I know how much I have worked in that period before coming here. I am feeling good and ready for all," he added.

Srikanth's next opponent will be Frenchman Lucas Corvee who rallied from a first game loss to beat Chinese Taipei's Lin Yu Hsien, 18-21, 21-17, 21-13.