Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu entered the women’s second round but it turned out to be a disappointing day for Indian men shuttlers as two of them made an early exit at the Malaysia Open Super Series Premier.
After a semifinal finish at the India Open last week, Saina made a positive start to her campaign at the $550,000 event here as she notched up her sixth win over Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol 21-16, 21-7 in 30 minutes. The 26-year-old Indian, seeded third, will next meet Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju, who had ended Sindhu’s campaign last week in New Delhi.
Sixth seed Sindhu beat He Bingjiao of China 21-16, 21-17 in a 40-minute women’s singles first round match to avenge her defeat to the same opponent in the 2015 Indonesian Masters and 2016 Swiss Open.
The two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, Sindhu will next take on Korean Sung Ji Hyun, seeded seventh, who had lost to Saina in India Open last week.
However in men’s singles, Rio Olympics hopefuls H S Prannoy and K Srikanth failed to cross the opening hurdle.
Srikanth, who failed to defend his title at India Open last week after going down to China’s Tian Houwei in the opening round, continued to find the going tough in super series events. His 3-1 record against Boonsak Ponsana accounted for nothing as Srikanth ended with a 21-23, 21-9, 10-21 loss against the Thailand shuttler after a 53-minute battle.
Prannoy, who clinched the Swiss Open last month, fought hard before going down 19-21, 20-22 to India Open champion, Kento Momota of Japan, seeded third here. Prannoy had lost in the opening round in India Open as well.