Viktor Axelsen and Carolina Marin picked up from where they left off at the Asian Leg in January, comfortably winning their opening YONEX Swiss Open 2021 matches yesterday.
Twenty-five minutes were all it took Marin to bat Russian Natalia Perminova aside, giving away only 18 points in the 21-8 21-10 win while world No.2 Axelsen needed six minutes more to beat Canadian Jason Anthony Ho-Shue 21-17 21-7.
Also through was Marin’s perennial on-court foe Pusarla V. Sindhu, who was given a tougher fight by Neslihan Yigit of Turkey before falling 21-16 21-19.
Marin and Axelsen, who featured in all three finals in Bangkok and won two each, next play Julie Dawall Jakobsen and Khosit Phetpradab respectively.
Former winner Prannoy H. S. was shown the exit door by Dutchman Mark Caljouw, who won 21-19 9-21 21-17. World No.28 countryman Lakshya Sen also suffered a surprise defeat to world No.65 Victor Svendsen.
One seed fell, Korean Kim Ga Eun (No.8) going down 21-12 16-21 13-21 to Thailand’s Supanida Katethong. Saina Nehwal’s Olympic hopes took a hit following her loss to Phittayaporn Chaiwan.
Second seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty had a shaky start to the Mathias Boe era, needing three games (21-18 19-21 21-16) and 69 minutes to get the better of Scottish twins ranked 52 places below them, Christopher and Matthew Grimley.
Sixth seeds Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen also required a rubber game against Malaysians Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin to progress.
Chloe Birch/Lauren Smith were the highest seeds (No.4) to get knocked out on the day, losing 21-15 21-18 to Danes Amalie Magelund/Freja Ravn.
With Pablo Abian also winning, Spain completed the first round as the only unbeaten country.