Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu and H S Prannoy made positive starts to their campaign, progressing to the second round of USD 400,000 Hong Kong Super Series on Wednesday.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina staved off a spirited challenge from World No. 44 Mette Poulsen of Denmark before emerging 21-19 23-21 winner in a 46-minute match.
World No. 11 Saina, who won the bronze at the World Championship, will next face a tough opponent in eighth-seeded Chinese Chen Yufei, who had clinched the other bronze at the Glasgow Worlds in August.
TRENDING | IPL spot-fixing: Anurag Thakur asks Supreme Court to unveil 13 names in ‘sealed envelope’
Olympic silver medallist Sindhu seeded second, disposed of Hong Kong’s Leung Yuet Yee 21-18 21-10 to set up a clash with either Japan’s Aya Ohori or Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya in the next round.
In men’s singles competition, Prannoy survived a scare against Hong Kong’s Hu Yun to win 19-21 21-17 21-15 in a match that lasted a little over an hour.
The World No. 10 Indian will face Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai, who had defeated the Indian in the semifinals of Indonesia Open Super Series Premier.
ALSO READ | AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships: Indian pugilists assured of seven medals
However, Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap squandered an opening game advantage to go down narrowly 21-15 9-21 20-22 to Korean Lee Dong Keun, while Sourabh Verma failed to put up a fight against Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto, losing 15-21 8-21 to bow out of the competition.
B Sai Praneeth also lost his first-round match against second-seeded Son Wan Ho of Korea 8-21, 16-21.
Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy played their hearts out before going down 11-21 21-19 19 -21 against the Chinese combo of Huang Dongping and Li Wenmei in a hard-fought contest.
The mixed doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy went down fighting to the pair of Khim Wah Lim of Malaysia and Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea 17-21, 17-21 in the opening round.
Prannoy lagged behind for the most part of the opening game even though he did manage to turn the tables a few times, taking slender leads at 9-8, 13-12 and 16-15. But Hu Yun managed to keep his nose ahead to pocket the first game.
The Indian, however, produced a better performance in the second as he fought back from 0-5 down to lead 11-8 at the break and then surged ahead, despite some tough fight from the local hero.