Malaysia Open: Saina, Sindhu advance to second round, Srikanth disappoints again

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© OfficiaTwitter - Saina

Malaysia Open: Saina, Sindhu advance to second round, Srikanth disappoints again

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Arun S Kaimal


Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu registered easy victories to enter the second round of the Malaysia Open Super Series Premier in Shah Alam on Wednesday. However, in the men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth and H S Prannoy crashed out in the first round to make it a disappointing day for the male shuttlers.

After reaching the semi-final of the India Open last week, World No.6 Saina Nehwal continued her good form on the opening day of the Malaysia Open Super Series Premier to enter the second round. The 2012 Olympics bronze medallist defeated Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand 21-16 21-7 in 30 minutes.

The Indian had defeated Jindapol in the second round of the India Open last week, and the Thai shuttler once again proved to be no match for the skills of Saina. The 26-year old Indian, who is third-seeded at the tournament, will face South Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju in the second round on Thursday. Like Saina, Bae Yeon Ju also made it to the semis of the India Open – she had ended the campaign of P V Sindhu in the quarter-final to get there.

Sixth-seed P V Sindhu also entered the second round of the competition after defeating China’s He Bingjiao, avenging the loss she suffered in the 2016 Swiss Open. The two-time World Championship bronze medallist took just 40 minutes to beat her opponent 21-16, 21-17. Sindhu will next face seventh-seeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun, who had lost to Saina in India Open last week.

However, the male shuttlers continued their disappointing season this time around also with World No.10 Kidambi Srikanth and Swiss Open champion H S Prannoy crashing out in the opening round. Srikanth, who crashed out to China’s Tian Houwei in the India Open, continued the terrible run and suffered a defeat at the hands of Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand. Although, both shuttlers matched each other point for point in the first game with Ponsana winning it 23-21, the second and third round proved to be one-sided affairs with Srikanth taking the second game 21-9, before surrendering the third 10-21 to his rival.

Swiss Open champion H S Prannoy ran into India Open champion Kento Momota in the opening round and suffered a 19-21, 20-22 defeat. Ajay Jayaram also crashed out later in the evening to Hong Kong shuttler Hu Yun 17-21, 14-21 to make it consecutive first-round exits for the Indian male shuttler.

In the men’s doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy suffered a similar fate as the male shuttlers and bowed out in the opening round after going down to Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov of Russia 11-21, 10-21.  

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