Shanghai: Ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy progressed to the second round of the $700,000 China Open Super Series Premier, after winning their respective matches on Wednesday.
While the top two Indian women’s shuttlers registered straight wins, National champion Prannoy however had to overcome a tough opponent in Lee Dong-keun of Korea, to move to the next round.
It took 30 minutes for the recently crowned National champion Saina Nehwal to dispatch USA’s Beiwan Zhang 21-12, 21-13 in her opening match of the tournament. The world no. 11 will next face fifth seeded Akane Yamaguchi of Japan who defeated China’s Xiaoxin Chen 21-12, 21-14. The Japanese however leads one to three in head to head battles with all her three wins coming in the last three encounters.
World Championship silver medalist PV Sindhu was made to sweat hard by her opponent Sayaka Sato. The world no. 2 however overcame the unseeded Japanese after two closely fought games to win 24-22, 23-21 in a game that unexpectedly lasted 59 minutes. It however looks to be an easy battle in the next round, where Sindhu take on Yue Han of China.
Meanwhile, HS Prannoy defeated Lee Dong-keun of Korea 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 to reach the second round.
It was however the end for Sourabh Verma, who went down 14-21, 21-15, 11-21 to Frenchman Brice Leverdez despite putting up a tough fight even after losing the opening set. It was an intense battle of 55 minutes between the two, before Brice progressed.
Earlier in the day, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were knocked out of the opening round of the men’s doubles, by the Chinese fifth seeds Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan 21-13, 21-13 in a match that lasted just 36 minutes. The pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy also faced the same fate, losing 18-21, 15-21 to Marcus Fernaldi and Kevin Sanjaya of Indonesia.
In the women’s doubles, the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy could not progress further than round of 32, after they lost 21-14, 21-15 to Ha Na Baek and Chae Yoo Jung of South Korea in 39 minutes.
Later Ashwini, partnering Satwiksairaj Rankireddy put up a tough battle against the Danish pair of Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen, before going down 21-19, 17-21, 21-13 in an hour and nine minutes.