Former Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal advanced to the women’s singles second round of the Spain Masters Super 300 event with a 21-16, 21-14 win over Germany’s Yvonne Li in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Nehwal took just 35 minutes to beat her opponent in the first round match.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki N Reddy also won their mixed doubles first round match against Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje 10-21, 21-16, 21-17.
The duo face a tough task against top seeds Huat Soon Goh and Shevon Jemie Lai from Malaysia.
However, HS Prannoy lost to Malaysian Daren Liew 18-21, 15-21 to bow out of the tournament.
Nehwal is looking to keep her Tokyo Olympic hopes alive after an inconsistent outing in 2019 and she also didn’t enjoy a good start this year. She has crossed the first round in only one of the three events in 2020. She will face a qualifier from Ukraine, Maria Ulitina, in the next round.
Later in the day, three Indian men’s singles shuttlers sealed their progress to make it a good day overall for the contingent.
Indian veteran Ajay Jayaram beat world junior championships silver medallist Christo Popov from France 21-14, 21-12 to enter the second round.
In an all-Indian first round clash, Srikanth Kidambi started off his campaign in Barcelona with a 23-21, 21-18 win against compatriot Subhankar Dey. The match lasted 41 minutes. Third seed Srikanth will face Jayaram in the next round.
In the final match featuring an Indian, Sameer Verma beat Lucas Claerbout of France 21-12, 21-9 in 37 mins to enter the 2nd round. He will Germany’s Kai Schaefer next.
Earlier, former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap retired towards the end of the decider after starting strongly against Brazil’s Ygor Coelho. He lost 21-9, 18-21, 12-14 in 51 minutes.
(With PTI inputs)