Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu advanced to the second round of the women’s singles competition at the Hong Kong Super Series badminton tournament with contrasting victories here on Wednesday.
Saina, on a comeback trail, was the first to take the field and she recorded a hard-fought 12-21, 21-19, 21-17 win over Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the opening round at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who had lost to Porntip in the opening round at China Open after making a comeback following a three-month lay-off due to injury, avenged the defeat with her win on Wednesday over the World No. 12 Thai shuttler.
The fifth seeded Indian, who is looking to seal her Dubai Super Series Final spot, will next take on Japan’s Sayaka Sato who defeated Chiang Mei Hui of Chinese Taipei.
Sindhu, on the other hand, had an easy outing as she notched up a 21-13, 21-16 win over Susanto Yulia Yosephin of Indonesia in 32 minutes.
The Rio Olympics silver medallist Indian hardly broke a sweat in the first game after the two rivals were locked 2-2 early on. Sindhu left his rival way behind after that as she easily took the first game.
The second game was a tight contest with the two opponents refusing to yield an inch to each other. After being levelled at 9-9, Sindhu zoomed ahead at 12-9 but her Indonesian rival fought back to tie the score at 16-16.
Sindhu was in no mood to allow her opponent to come back as she took the next five successive points to take the second game and wrap up the match.
In the second round, Sindhu will take on Hsu Ya Ching of Chinese Taipei, who upset seventh seed Sing Ji Hyun of Korea in the first round.
In men’s singles, Swiss Open winner H S Prannoy defeated China’s Qiao Bin 21-16, 21-18 while national champion Sameer Verma edged past Japan’s Takuma Ueda 22-20, 21-18 in another first round match.
Ajay Jayaram then beat Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia 21-15, 13-21, 21-16 in a 56-minute contest to move into the second round. He will be up against Huang Yuxiang of China in the second round.
B Sai Praneeth, however, lost to third seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark 18-21, 18-21.
Men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who represented India at the Rio Olympics, also suffered a 15-21, 8-21 loss to Korean combo of Solgyu Choi and KO Sung Hyun.