PV Sindhu overcame a late challenge from He Bing Jiao to come up with a 21-13, 17-21, 21-15 win in the first round of Malaysia Masters Super 500 in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

It was a good day in the office for the recently-turned 27-year-old from Hyderabad, as she reduced her overall record against the Chinese player to 9-10 after the match that ended in 57 minutes.

In the men’s singles field, Parupalli Kashyap lodged an impressive win over Tommy Sugiarto, coming from behind to win the first round match 16-21, 21-16, 21-16, in 61 minutes.

B Sai Praneeth also went through to the second round with a straight-forward 26-minute 21-8, 21-9 win over Kevin Cordon from Guatemala. It was only his second win on tour in 2022. He will take on Li Shi Feng of China next.

And in the last match of the day featuring an Indian, HS Prannoy qualified for the men’s singles round of 16 with a straight-games win.

Sindhu made an impressive start to the match, taking the first game in double quick time, but Bing Jiao came back stronger in the second. The World No 7 did not panic though, and rushed into a 13-3 lead after winning 10 points on the trot to put herself in a strong position, and she held that lead to secure the match.

Sindhu hasn’t had the luck of the draw in recent times, facing He Bing Jiao in the first round at Indonesia Open and then world No 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong last week at Malaysia Open. For a seeded player, facing top 10 opponents in the first round in three straight tournaments is as tough as it could get. But Sindhu, to her credit, has won two out of those three now.

She will next face the winner China’s Zhang Yi Man, the world No 32. Zhang had won their solitary meeting so far, in three games at the German Open earlier this year.

For Kashyap, it is now back-to-back first-round wins on tour after enduring a drought for a while. In a battle of the veterans, and a first meeting on tour since 2012 (even though they have met in the PBL), Kashyap overcame Sugiarto with a fighting win. He will face sixth seed Anthony Ginting next, who has a 7-0 H2H over the India.

Prannoy, meanwhile, was up against veteran Brice Leverdez and the Indian ended up improving his head-to-head record against the French player to 3-1. Prannoy started the match slowly and trailed 5-11 and then 9-14 in the first game. But he found his rhythm soon enough and didn’t look back thereafter, winning 21-19, 21-14 in 42 minutes.

Prannoy will now face Wang Tzu Wei for a spot in the quarterfinals. In the round of 32 on Wednesday, Wang got the better of Jonatan Christie in an epic 93-minute match. The Chinese Taipei player saved four match points before converting his fourth match point to win 16-21, 21-18, 27-25.

Sameer Verma however, lost out in a three-game match to fourth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. The Indian won the first game but the fourth seed Chou came back to register a 10-21, 21-12, 21-14 win.

In the women’s singles draw, former world No 1 Saina Nehwal lost in three games against Ga Eun Kim of South Korea. The Indian veteran won the first game and even had a lead at the mid-game interval in the second, but eventually went down 21-16, 17-21, 14-21 in 50 minutes.

In women’s doubles, India’s Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy fought hard but went down 19-21, 21-18, 16-21 against the Indonesian pair of Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma and Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi.

Malaysia Masters Super 500: Malvika Bansod, women’s doubles pairs bow out on a tough opening day for Indians