Saina sails ahead, easy for Kashyap

 Two-time winner Saina Nehwal and defending champion Parupalli Kashyap made a positive start to their campaign at the Syed Modi International badminton tournament, reaching the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s and men’s singles competition respectively, here on Wednesday.

London Olympics bronze medallist, Saina reached the second round with a 21-7 21-9 thrashing of Matilda Petersen of Sweden in just 28 minutes to set up a clash with Russian Natalia Perminova at Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here.

P V Sindhu beat Malaysia’s Li Lian Yang 21-19, 24-22 to set up a clash with Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland in the pre-quarters.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Kashyap, on the other hand, first notched up a 21-14 21-16 victory over compatriot Anup Sridhar and then registered a 21-10 21-12 win over Malaysia’s Yee Han Chong in his second match of the day to reach the third round, where he will face 12th seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia.

Among others in men’s singles, second seed Ajay Jayaram, third seed RMV Gurusaidutt, fourth seed Anand Pawar, sixth seed K Srikanth, seventh seed H S Prannoy, eighth seed Sourabh Verma, 11th seed Sai Praneeth B, 14th seed Arvind Bhat, 16th seed Subhankar Dey and young Aditya Prakash — all reached the pre-quarters.

Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, the 13th seed, also reached the third round.
Newly-crowned National champion Srikanth had everything going his way as he first defeated Mayank Behal 21-15 21-15 and then beat Malaysia’s Kian Meng Tan 21-16 22-20. He will meet former national champion Arvind Bhat, who posted a a 21-14 19-21 21-14 win over Joo Ven Soong of Malaysia. Prannoy defeated Mohit Kamat 21-17 21-12 and then prevailed over Malaysia’s Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub 21-16 19-21 21-9.

In women’s singles, Saili Rane and Dhanya Nair also reached the pre-quarters. While Saili beat qualifier Sanchali Dasgupta 21-15 21-15, Dhanya defeated Delhi shuttler Rachita Sachdev 21-11 21-9 in another match.

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