(VOV) – Vietnamese player Nguyen Tien Minh lost his August 15 debut 0-2 to India’s Sai Praneeth 0-2 in the men’s singles division of India’s first badminton league (IBL) tournament.
Minh represented the Pune Pistons while Praneeth played for Krrish Dehli Smashers.
Despite a world ranking 29 places higher than his Indian rival, the Vietnamese no. 8 succumbed 17-21 and 20-21.
His long journey to India, one day after returning from the World Badminton Federation (WBF) World Championship, may have been a contributing factor.
Minh’s club, the Pune Pistons will face the Mumbai Masters—the team of world number one Lee Chong Wei—on August 17.
The IBL consists of six teams competing in a round-robin format and runs from August 14-31.
Each team—the Awadhe Warriors, Banga Beats, Hydrabad Hotshots, Krrish Delhi Smashers, Mumbai Masters, and Pune Pistons—has four foreign and six Indian members.
One tournament round includes two men’s singles matches, one women’s singles match, one men’s doubles match, and one mixed doubles match.
The four highest-ranked teams after the qualifying round will advance to the semifinals.
The tournament’s prize pool totals US$1 million.