Three-time champion Saina Nehwal started her campaign on a positive note with a straight-game demolition of Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk but it was early exit for P V Sindhu, K Srikanth and P Kashyap in the USD 750,000 BCA Indonesia Superseries Premier in Jakarta on Wednesday.
A winner of the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2012, Saina continued her good run after showing glimpses of coming back to form during India’s Uber Cup campaign as she brushed aside World No. 9 Porntip 21-15 21-10 in the women’s singles competition to register her seventh win over her Thai opponent.
Olympic bronze medallist, Saina will next take on Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour, who edged past Sayaka Takahashi of Japan 21-19 19-21 22-20 in another match.
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World No. 10 Sindhu, however, failed to cross the opening hurdle as she lost 24-26 17-21 to third seed and Olympic silver medallist Yihan Wang of China in a 47-minute match.
In the men’s singles, there was nothing but heartbreaks for India as both Kashyap and Srikanth lost their hard-fought first round battles against World No. 4 Kenichi Tago of Japan and 37th ranked, Chen Yuekun of China respectively.
While Kashyap, ranked 20th, squandered a one-game advantage to go down 21-19 8-21 22-24 against fourth seed Tago, Yuekun got the better off World No. 23 Srikanth 21-12 17-21 21-16 in another match.
Srikanth had also lost to Yuekun during 2010 India Grand Prix in Hyderabad.
This is the second successive first round exits for Kashyap and Srikanth after their opening round losses in Japan Open last week.
Young shuttlers, Sourabh Varma and H S Prannoy crashed out in the qualifiers on Tuesday. Mixed doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa also couldn’t make it to the main draw.
While Sourabh lost to Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo of Indonesia 13-21 21-19 16-21, Prannoy went down 20-22 20-22 against Alamsyah Yunus of Indonesia.
Germany’s mixed doubles pair of Peter Kaesbauer and Isabel Herttrich defeated Tarun and Ashwini 19-21 21-14 21-19 in another match on Tuesday.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa later defeated Indonesian pair of Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth and Rizki Amelia Pradipta 13-21 22-20 21-11 in a match that lasted 49 minutes to reach the second round of women’s doubles competition.
The Indian pair will next take on the winner between fifth seeded Korean combo of Ye Na Jang and So Young Kim and Indonesian pair of Anggia Shitta Awanda and Della Destiara Haris.