Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal crashed out of the China Open Super 1000 tournament after suffering a first round defeat to Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the women’s singles on Wednesday while PV Sindhu and B Sai Praneeth started off with contrasting wins.
In the last match of the day for India, P Kashyap registered a straight games win against Brice Leverdez to progress to the round of 16 as well.
Saina, the London Olympic bronze medallist, lost 10-21, 17-21 at the hands of the world No 19 Ongbamrungphan in a match that lasted for 45 minutes. It was the former world No 1’s second successive defeat to the Thai player.
The 29-year-old Saina has struggled for form following her recovery from injuries. The Indian started her season with a win at the Indonesia Open but has failed to reach another final on the BWF circuit for the rest of the season.
PV Sindhu, though, continued her good form and notched up a straight-games win in her round of 32 match against former world No 1 Li Xue Rui. The current badminton world champion won 21-18, 21-12 to book her place in the pre-quarterfinals.
Sindhu now faces Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong who defeated Michelle Li.
Along with Sindhu, world championship bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth also registered a victory on Wednesday. The 27-year-old defeated Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-19, 21-23, 21-14. Sai Praneeth needed 72 minutes to win and will now face China’s Lu Gang Zu in the next round.
Later in the day, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy won their round of 32 match 21-13, 11-8 in 24 minutes. Their Chinese Taipei opponents Cheng/Lee retired in the second game. Ashwini and Sikki will face the second seeded Japanese pair of Matsutomo and Takahashi next.
In mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy missed a game point in second game to lose 21-12, 23-21 against Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss/Isabel Herttrich. Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan won 21-15, 21-15 against Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri in the men’s doubles round of 32 encounter.
But Kashyap helped India end the day on a winning note, defeating Leverdez 21-12, 21-15. He has a tough pre-quarterfinal match against 7th seed Anthony Ginting from Indonesia.