Top Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal notched up contrasting wins to make a positive start to their campaign at the Indonesia Super Series Premier badminton tournament.
Fourth seed Sindhu brushed aside World No. 20 Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand 21-12 21-19, while the world No. 11 Saina rallied her way to a 17-21 21-18 21-12 win over the eighth-seeded Thai Ratchanok Intanon in women’s singles.
Three-time champion Saina, who had a 7-5 head-to-head record against Ratchanok, will face another Thai player Nitchaon Jindapol in the next round. If Saina wins her next match, she is likely to clash with World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals.
Olympics silver medallist Sindhu, who has won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold and India Super Series this season, will square off against USA’s Beiwen Zhang in the next round.
In mixed doubles, B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa suffered a 12-21 9-21 loss to Indonesian combo of Irfan Fadhilah and Weni Anggraini to crash out of the tournament.
Saina made a good start to the match, leading 10-4 at one stage but she blew the advantage after the break as Ratchanok clawed her way back to 14-14 and then marched ahead to earn the bragging rights.
In the second game, Saina opened up a 12-7 lead and despite the Thai girl levelling scores at 16-16, the Indian surged ahead to bounce back into the match.
In the decider, Saina dished out a dominating game as she lead right from the start 8-2 and didn’t give any chance to Ratchanok to make a comeback.
In another women’s singles match, Sindhu hardly broke a sweat as she got across Pornpawee without much ado in the opening game after leading 6-2 early.
In the second game, Sindhu once again opened a 10-3 lead but the Thai girl managed to claw her way back with seven straight points.
The Indian, however, soon surged to a 15-10 lead and despite some fightback from Pornpawee, Sindhu managed to shut the door on her rival.