Kuala Lumpur: Shuttlers Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth entered the second round to mark a fine day for Indian players at the Malaysia Masters badminton tournament, here Wednesday.
Seeded seventh, Saina had to toil hard and came back from a game down to quell the challenge of Hong Kong’s Joy Xuan Deng 14-21, 21-18, 21-18 in a women’s singles first round encounter that lasted 65 minutes. She will next face Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong in the second round.
Like Saina, husband Kashyap too had a tough outing, against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke. He had to dig deep to get the better of his opponent 19-21, 21-19, 21-10 in his men’s singles first round match. After two tough games Gemke seemed out of breath in the decider and Kashyap ran away with it.
But it was a relatively walk in the park for shuttler Srikanth, seeded seventh, as he took just 30 minutes to beat Angus Ka Long NG of Hong Kong 21-17, 21-11 in the first round.
The women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy too overcame their first hurdle with a hard-fought 21-16, 22-20 win over Hong Kong’s Tsz Yau NG and Sin Ying Yuen. But it was curtains for Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy as they lost 19-21, 17-21 against the Netherlands’ Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek.