Saina cruises to second round

Badminton Australian Open: Srikanth wins; Sindhu ousted

Saina cruises to second round

 Leading Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth won their first round matches in contrasting style at the Star Australian Open Superseries here on Wednesday.

World No 1 Saina comfortably beat 67th ranked Cheah Lyddia Yi Yu of Malaysia 21-12, 21-10.

However, PV Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap were not so lucky as they lost their openers in enthralling battles against their Chinese opponents.

Men’s singles fourth seed Srikanth was surprised by Hans-Kristian Vittinghus when the Dane took the first game 21-14. However, the Guntur-born lad came back strongly to crush his opponent in the second game and win it 21-8.

World No 4 Srikanth could not carry the momentum into the third game and was being led from the start. In no time, World No 14 Vittinghus had four matchpoints at 20-16. But somehow the Indian youngster made a remarkable comeback to not just save all the matchpoints but also earn two more points to bag the game 22-20.

Srikanth will next take on Chinese World No 10 Tian Houwei. RMV Gurusaidutt raised eyebrows by taking the first game from Chen Long before the Chinese fought back to complete a 15-21, 21-9, 21-17 victory.

Women’s doubles combine of Jwala and Ashwini also made a winning start as they had a relatively easy, 29-minute victory over Dutch combine of Samantha Barning and Iris Tabeling. The Commonwealth Games champions won 21-13, 21-13 but face a tough task ahead as they will take on Indonesian fourth seeds Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii on Thursday.

 Parupalli Kashyap had to bite the dust as he lost a marathon battle, that lasted an hour and 21 minutes, to sixth seed Zhengming Wang. The Chinese won 24-26, 21-18, 22-20 to take a 5-1 lead in career meetings over the Hyderabadi.

Sindhu also lost a tough fight  to Yihan Wang. The Chinese eighth seed lost the first game 18-21, but came out stronger to win the next two 21-15 and 25-23 to take a 4-1 lead in career meetings over the World No 12.

South Korean mixed doubles pair of Choi Solgyu and Eom Hye Won also put to rest the challenge of qualifiers Pranaav Chopra and Ashwini, who lost 19-21, 14-21 in 35 minutes.

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