Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal entered the second round of women’s singles with a comfortable victory but P V Sindhu suffered an upset defeat in the opening round to crash out of the USD 750,000 Australian Open Super Series badminton tournament in Sydney on Wednesday.
In men’s singles, India’s Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma made the second round with contrasting victories, but it was curtains for qualifier R M V Gurusaidutt as he failed to cross the first round hurdle.
Saina, who had won the Australian Open title in 2014, hardly broke a sweat in her opening round game as she outplayed Joy Lai of Australia with a dominating 21-10 21-14 win in just 29 minutes.
The seventh seeded Indian will clash with Malaysia’s Jin Wei Goh in the second round. However, World No. 10 Sindhu was stunned by South Korea’s Kim Hyo Min, ranked 40th in the world, 15-21 19-21 after a 55-minute battle.
But youngster Tanvi Lad registered a come-from-behind win 18-21 21-14 21-11 over qualifier Tiffany Ho of Australia in 52 minutes to enter round two of the tournament.
She will next take on fourth-seeded Wang Yihan.
Srikanth, ranked 12th, posted an easy 21-16 21-12 winover World No.11 NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong in a match that lasted 32 minutes, while Sameer had to sweat it out before prevailing over Indonesia’s Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 22-20 15-21 21-15 in a 53-minute contest.
Gurusaidutt, who qualified to the main draw after winning both his qualifying matches yesterday, fought hard before going down 19-21 21-12 15-21 to world no. 14 Hu Yun of Hong Kong.
Srikanth will next face Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro, while Sameer will take on the winner of match between Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Chou Tien-chen.
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles competition, Indian pair of Nikhar Garg and M Anilkumar Raju lost to Malaysian eighth seeds V Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan 12-21 10-21 in just 16 minutes in an opening round match to bow out of the competition.