Saina Nehwal sailed into the second round of the Malaysia Open with a convincing 21-12, 21-16 win over Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong on Tuesday. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist needed 42 minutes to clear the first hurdle at the Axiata Arena.
Nehwal won the first game rather comfortably before Yip put up a better fight in the second. The Indian was leading by a slender 17-16 margin in the second game when she won four points in a row to seal the match.
However, Nehwal has been handed a tough draw and she will meet second seed Akane Yamaguchi in the second round. The Japanese came back from a game down to beat Indonesia’s Dinar Dyah Ayustine 17-21, 21-12, 21-13 in the first round.
India’s Sameer Verma could not join Nehwal in the second round as he was beaten by Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto 21-13, 21-5 in just 32 minutes. In the second game, from 2-4 down, Verma conceded 10 points in a row to hand over the match to Gugiarto.
Rohan Kapoor and Kuhoo Garg’s mixed doubles campaign also ended in the first round after they lost to eighth seeds He Jiting and Du Yue 21-9, 21-10.
PV Sindhu, K Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth, and the men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will begin their Malaysia Open campaign on Wednesday.