Kuala Lumpur: India’s Olympic medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal sailed into the second round of the $700,000 Malaysian Open with a convincing 21-12 21-16 win over Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong here on Tuesday.
The London Games bronze medallist needed 42 minutes to clear the first hurdle at the Axiata Arena.
Saina, who had won gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, has been in good form of late.
However, the Indian has been drawn in a tough group and is meeting second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the second round.
Saina gave ample glimpse of her fitness and form en route to victory.
Saina, who was runners-up at Indonesia Masters earlier this year, will also look to continue her good run in the next round.
In the men’s singles, Sameer Verma lost to Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto 13-21, 5-21 to crash out of the competition.
The mixed doubles pairing of Rohan Kapoor and Kuhoo Garg too suffered a first round loss, 9-21, 10-21, against eighth seeds He Jiting and Du Yue of China.
Rejuvenated after a month-long break, India’s other top shuttlers including P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, will be in action on June 27....