Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu in Round 2 of China Open badminton
Star Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal made perfect starts to their campaigns at the China Open Super Series Premier badminton by entering the women’s singles second round with straight game wins over their respective rivals on Wednesday.
While Saina made short work of USA’s Beiwan Zhang, second seed Sindhu had to dig deep to get the better of Sayaka Sato of Japan.
Saina, who recently won the National Championships beating Sindhu in the final, hardly broke a sweat and needed exactly 30 minutes to tame Zhang 21-12 21-13 in her tournament opener.
Fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi, who beat China’s Xiaoxin Chen 21-12, 21-14, meets Saina in the next round.
Saina trails Yamaguchi one to three in head-to-head record with their three previous results going in her opponent’s favour.
Later in the day, world no. 2 Sindhu was made to work hard by her Japanese opponent Sato as the Indian toiled hard for 59 minutes on the court to get the better of Sato 24-22 23-21.
Sindhu next plays an easy opponent in Chinese qualifier Yue Han.
Meanwhile, HS Prannoy got the better of Lee Dong-keun 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 to reach the second round.
However, Sourabh Verma faced a dead end in his men’s singles opener as he went down 14-21, 21-15, 11-21 in 55 minutes to Frenchman Brice Leverdez.
Earlier in the day, the campaign for Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty got over in the opener as Chinese fifth seeds Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan won 21-13, 21-13 in 36 minutes.
The challenge of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also came to an end in women’s doubles as Ha Na Baek and Chae Yoo Jung of South Korea won 21-14, 21-15 in 39 minutes.
Ashwini, partnering Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, also lost her mixed doubles clash to Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen. The Danish pair won 21-19, 17-21, 21-13 in an hour and nine minutes.
(With PTI Inputs)