Saina notches up hard-fought win

Saina notches up hard-fought win

Badminton Malaysian Open

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal came from behind to notch up a hard-fought victory over Juan Gu of Singapore in the first round match of the Malaysian Open Super Series in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Fourth seed Saina managed to prevail over her Singaporean opponent 19-21, 21-14, 21-15 in a 56-minute battle.

Saina will next take on Shao Chieh Cheng of Chinese Taipei, the same opponent she had recently defeated in Korea Open Super Series in the second round.

In the mixed doubles competition, V Diju and Jwala Gutta also faced some stiff challenge before getting the better of the combo of Chayut Triyachart and Lei Yao of Singapore 21-13, 19-21, 21-16 in a match that lasted 40 minutes.

Jwala and Diju will now face the Malaysian pair of Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh in the second round.

However, Indian men’s doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas suffered defeat in the first round, going down to fourth seeds Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia 14-21, 13-21 in just 27 minutes.

In the men’s singles competition, world championship quarterfinalist Ajay Jayaram conceded the first game advantage to go down to Simon Santoso of Indonesia 21-9, 18-21, 16-21 in less than an hour.

The Indian shuttler completely outplayed his seventh seed opponent in the opening game, winning it comfortably 21-9.

But he failed to maintain his rhythm and lost the next two games to bow out.