Kuala Lumpur: Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu had to toil before emerging victorious in the opening round of the Malaysia Masters badminton tournament here Wednesday. However, compatriot Saina Nehwal made a second consecutive first-round exit. The seventh-seeded PV Sindhu took close to an hour to knock out China’s He Bing Jiao 21-13, 17-21, 21-15 and move to the second round.
With this win, World No. 7 Sindhu exacted revenge for her first-round exit from the Indonesia Open Super 1000 last month, when Bing Jiao had defeated her in straight games. The Chinese though still leads the head to head 10-9.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, on the other hand, squandered a one-game lead to go down 21-16, 17-21, 14-21 to Kim Ga Eun of South Korea. The World No. 24 Indian had also made a first round exit from the Malaysia Open Super 750 tournament last week.
In the men’s singles, HS Prannoy sailed into the second round with a comfortable 21-19, 21-14 victory over Frenchman Brice Leverdez.
In the other men’s singles matches, BSai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap also moved to the second round, but with contrasting wins.
Praneeth hardly broke a sweat against Kevin Cordon, registering an easy 21-8, 21-9 win over the Guatemalan in less than half an hour. However, Kashyap had to come back from a one-game deficit to beat local favourite Tommy Sugiarto 16-21, 21-16, 21-16.
However, it was the end of the road for Sameer Verma. He went down fighting to fourth seed Chinese Taipei shuttler Chou Tien Chen 21-10, 12-21, 14-21.
The women’s doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 19-21, 21-18, 16-21 to the Indonesian duo of Fabriana Kusuma and Amalia Pratiwi in a hard-fought game that lasted a little more than an hour.