Hong Kong Open: PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy win opening-round matches in straight games; Saina Nehwal, Sameer Verma ousted
Sixth seed Sindhu took 36 minutes to see off World No 19 Kim Ga Eun of Korea 21-15, 21-16 to progress to the second round where she will face Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan
Sindhu, who had faltered in the opening round in a couple of recent tournaments, took 36 minutes to see off World No 19 Kim Ga Eun of Korea 21-15, 21-16
Eighth seed Saina suffered her fifth first-round loss in the last six tournaments, going down 13-21, 20-22 to China's Cai Yan Yan
World No 16 Sameer fought for 54 minutes before going to Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei 11-21 21-13 8-21 in the opening match
Hong Kong: World Champion PV Sindhu made a positive start to her campaign but Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma were ousted from the Hong Kong Open after suffering contrasting defeats in the opening round of the USD 400,000 event here on Wednesday.
Sixth seed Sindhu, who had faltered in the opening round in a couple of recent tournaments, took 36 minutes to see off World No 19 Kim Ga Eun of Korea 21-15, 21-16 to progress to the second round.
The Olympic silver medallist will face Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan next.
HS Prannoy also crossed the opening hurdle, beating China's Huang Yu Xiang 21-17, 21-17 in 44 minutes to a clash with sixth seed Indonesian Jonatan Christie.
However, eighth seed Saina, who claimed the Indonesia Masters in January this year, suffered her fifth first-round loss in the last six tournaments, going down 13-21, 20-22 to China's Cai Yan Yan for the second successive time. She had lost to Cai at China Open last week.
World No 16 Sameer fought for 54 minutes before going to Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei 11-21, 21-13, 8-21 in the opening match. It was his third successive loss in the opening round.
Saina and Sameer are both scheduled to play Gwangju Korea Masters Super 300 tournament next week.
World No 6 Sindhu moved to an 8-4 lead early on but Kim managed to turn the tables, holding an 11-10 advantage at the breather. The Indian then reeled off six points at 13-13 to march ahead and seal the opening game.
The second game was no different as Sindhu again broke off at 5-5, grabbing seven points on the trot to move to a massive 12-5 lead. The Indian kept moving ahead and eventually shut the door comfortably on her opponent.
Earlier, Saina lacked the wherewithal to put up a fight against Cai in the opening game and fell behind from the very start. She couldn't catch up with the Chinese, who moved to a comfortable 11-4 lead at the break and kept surging ahead to win the first game.
In the second game, Saina was 3-0 up initially but Cai reeled off seven straight points at 2-4 to jump to a 9-4 advantage. The Indian narrowed the gap but Cai was ahead 11-9 at the breather.
After the interval, the Chinese jumped to a 17-11 advantage. However, Saina managed to fight back and grab a game point at 20-19 but the Chinese once again managed to nose ahead.
Sameer, on the other hand, managed to take one game away from the World No 26 Wang after meekly surrendering the opening game.
Wang was 7-4 up and then surged to 15-5 in a jiffy to eventually close the opening game.
In the second game, Wang led 3-0 early on but this time Sameer put up a fierce fight to open up a slender 11-10 lead, which he capitalised to roar back into the contest.
However, Sameer was completely blown away by Wang in the decider. The Taiwanese shuttler zoomed to an 8-0 lead and then grabbed a 15-2 advantage, a gap which the Indian failed to bridge in the end.
Prannoy entered the second round of the men's singles competition at the tournament after registering a straight-game win over Ukraine's Danylo Bosniuk on Tuesday.
India Open Badminton: PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy advance; Saina Nehwal knocked out of tournament
Former champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina suffered a 17-21 9-21 straight game loss to compatriot Malvika Bansod
Top seed Sindhu, a former world champion, took 36 minutes to get the better of 21-year-old Chaliha 21-7 21-18 and set up a last-four clash with Thailand's Supanida Katethong, seeded sixth.