Fuzhou: Star Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal made perfect starts to their campaigns at the China Open Super Series Premier by entering the women's singles second round with straight game wins over their respective rivals here today.
While Saina made short work of USA's Beiwan Zhang, second seed Sindhu had to dig deep to get the better of Sayaka Sato of Japan. Saina, who recently won the National Championships beating Sindhu in the final, hardly broke a sweat and needed exactly 30 minutes to tame Zhang 21-12 21-13 in her tournament opener.
Fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi, who beat China's Xiaoxin Chen 21-12, 21-14, meets Saina in the next round. Saina trails Yamaguchi one to three in head-to-head record with their three previous results going in her opponent's favour.
Later in the day, world no. 2 Sindhu was made to work hard by her Japanese opponent Sato as the Indian toiled hard for 59 minutes on the court to get the better of Sato 24-22 23-21.
Sindhu next plays an easy opponent in Chinese qualifier Yue Han. World no. 11 HS Prannoy too made it to the second round of the men's singles but he had to toil hard for that.
Prannoy had to fight it out for exactly one-and-a-half hours to beat Korea's Dong Keun Lee 18-21 21-16 21-19. Prannoy will be up against Hog Kong qualifier Cheuk Yiu Lee in the next round.
However, it was curtains for another men's singles shuttler Sourabh Verma, who lost in the first round to France's Brice Leverdez 14-21 21-15 11-21. The men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also failed to cross the opening hurdle, losing to Chinese pair of Cheng Liu and Nan Zhang 13-21 13-21. It was disappointment for India in the women's doubles, and mixed doubles events as well.
The women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and N Siki Reddy were shown the door in the opening round by Korean duo of Ha Na Baek Chae Yoo Jung 14-21 15-21.
If that was not enough, Ponappa's campaign ended in the tournament when she and Satwiksairaj Rankiredddy fought hard before losing 19-21 21-17 13-21 to Denmark's Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen in the opening round of the mixed doubles.
In the last match of the day, another Indian men's doubles made early exit in the form of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who were shown the door by top seeds Marcus
Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. Manu and Sumeeth lost 18-21 15-21 against their higher- rated Indonesian opponents....