Malaysia Open 2018: Saina Nehwal sails into second round with straight sets win over Hong Kong's Yip Pui Yin
Saina Nehwal needed 42 minutes to clear the first hurdle at the Axiata Arena beating Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong 21-12, 21-16
Kuala Lumpur: India's Olympic medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal sailed into the second round of the $ 700,000 Malaysian Open with a convincing 21-12 21-16 win over Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong.
The London Games bronze medal needed 42 minutes to clear the first hurdle at the Axiata Arena.
Saina, who had won gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, has been in good form of late and she will look to continue in similar vein.
However, the Indian has been drawn in a tough group and is meeting second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the second round.
Saina gave ample glimpse of her fitness and form en route to winning her match.
Saina, who was runners-up at Indonesia Masters earlier in the year, will also look to continue her good run in the next round.
Rejuvenated after a month-long break, India's other top shuttlers, including P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, will also resume their quest for glory in the south-east Asia leg of BWF world tour.
The Chennai-born player, who had reached the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games in 1982, was also a successful coach.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Saina Nehwal, Indian shuttlers' qualification hopes in balance due to COVID-19 enforced flight ban
Following the postponement of the India Open (11-16 May), Saina and Srikanth's hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Games hinge on the (25-30 May) Kuala Lumpur event followed by the Singapore Open (1-6 June).
"All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for all participants, but the recent surge in cases left no choice but to postpone the tournament," Badminton World Federation said in a statement.