Former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth survived a massive scare in the first round of the Madrid Spain Masters 2023 Super 300 tournament while young Akarshi Kashyap clinched the biggest win of her career on Wednesday, March 29. However, there were disappointments for in-form doubles pairs of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and Jolly Treesa and Gayatri Gopichand were shown the door in the opening round. 

Kidambi Srikanth played a crazy opening round as the World No. 21 had his match points saved before he saved match points against Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand. After taking the opening game 21-11, Srikanth was en route to winning the match in straight sets. However, he lost momentum to see Thammasin save 6 match points and force a decider. 

At the mid-game interval in the decider, Srikanth once again had a comfortable lead of 11-5 but he allowed his Thai opponent to seal 2 match points. Eventually, Srikanth sealed the final game and the match 21-11 25-27 23-21 in an hour and 5 minutes. 

The 5th seed will face compatriot Sai Praneeth in an all-Indian second round at the Madrid Spain Masters. 

On the other hand, Akarshi Kashyap, World No. 42, pulled off a major upset at the Madrid Spain Masters, beating Canada’s Michelle Li in 3 games. Akarshi lost the opening game but stormed back to beat the 2-time Commonwealth Games medalist and World No. 15 12-21, 21-15, 21-18 in a little fewer than 60 minutes. 

It was Akarshi’s first win over a top-30 opponent on the BWF tour. She will face Natsuki Nidaira of Japan in the second round. 

Meanwhile, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who had arrived in Madrid after winning the Swiss Open Super 300 last week, retired from their first-round match against Japan’s Ayato Endo and Yuta Takei with possible injury or workload concerns. 

There was an early exit for All England Open semi-finalists Gayatri Gopichand. and Treesa Jolly as they lost to Japanese pair of Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto 21-18, 21-16.

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By editor

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