An uncomfortable looking HS Prannoy lost in the opening round after developing foot corns even as compatriots Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu entered the second round of the USD 350,000 India Open Super 500 tournament. Prannoy was in discomfort as he took the court against compatriot Shreyansh Jaiswal and handed over the match to his younger colleague 4-21, 6-21. In women's singles, Indonesia Masters finalist Saina had to work hard in the opening game to get across Denmark's Sofie Holmboe Dahl 21-15, 21-9, while defending champion Sindhu dumped another Danish girl Natalia Koch Rohde 21-10, 21-13.
Saina will face Denmark's Line Hjmark Kjaersfeldt, while Sindhu will take on either India's Vaidehi Choudhari or Bulgaria's Linda Zetchiri next.
The new crammed BWF schedule makes it mandatory for top 15 singles players to play in 12 tournaments out of the Super 1000, Super 750 and Super 500 events and Prannoy said it left him with no option but to take part as he had already missed the first two Super 500 tournaments at Malaysia and Indonesia.
"I had to participate in the India Open because of the new BWF rule of mandatory 12 tournaments. I couldn't even concede the match because I have a compatriot as opponent and according to BWF rules, if you concede against the same country opponent, you won't get ranking points, so I had to play though I am in no position to play," Srikanth said.
Asked what was the injury, Prannoy said, "I had developed corns in my foot in 2-3 places and I went for a treatment but the doctor didn't do it properly. I will go for another procedure tomorrow. I couldn't train and picked up the racquet first time in 15 days."
Among other Indians, B Sai Praneeth had to dig deep to see off 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph 21-11, 17-21, 21-17, while Aakarshi Kashyap and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde too crossed the first hurdle in women's singles.
(With PTI Inputs)