London Olympics bronze medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal today opened her campaign at the Hong Kong Super Series on a positive note, prevailing over Aprilla Yuswandari of Indonesia in straight games to reach the second round of women's singles event today.
The world number three Saina took time to get into the groove but went from strength to strength as the match progressed to notch up a 22-20 21-8 win over Aprilla at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Kowloon.
Pranaav Chopra and Siki Reddy N also reached the second round with a 21-19 21-15 victory over Phillip Chew and Jamie Subandhi of the USA in the mixed doubles competition.
Returing to action after skipping the China Open, Saina was equally good with her smashes and net play as the Indian registered as many as 15 smash winners and equal number of net winners in the 33-minute contest.
After gaining a narrow 3-1 lead early on, Saina lost the lead for a brief time when Aprilla went 8-6 ahead. However, the Indian restored her lead, moving to 14-10, before the Indonesian clawed back at 20-20.
But Saina didn't give any chance to Aprilla after that and closed the opening game in her favour with two consequtive points.
In the second game, the third seeded Indian was lagging 1-4 initially but came back in style, registering eight straight points to move to 9-4. She then reeled off another 10 points and in a jiffy she was 19-6 ahead. She closed the issue in her favour comfortably after that.
In another match, Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa lost their opening match against top seed Chinese pair of Chen XU and Jin MA 21-15 21-16 in the mixed doubles competition.