New Delhi: Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal defeated USA’s Beiwan Zhang in straight sets to cruise into the women’s singles second round of the China Open Super Series.
Saina, who recently won the National Championships beating compatriot PV Sindhu in the final, hardly broke a sweat and needed exactly 30 minutes to tame Zhang 21-12 21-13 in her tournament opener.
In fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi, who beat China’s Xiaoxin Chen 21-12, 21-14, Saina has drawn a tough opponent in the next round.
The Indian trails the Japanese one to three in head-to-head record with their three previous results going in Yamaguchi’s favour.
However, it was curtains for men’s singles shuttler Sourabh Verma, who lost in the first round to France’s Brice Leverdez 14-21 21-15 11-21.
The men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also failed to cross the opening hurdle, losing to Chinese pair of Cheng Liu and Nan Zhang 13-21 13-21.
Second seed PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy will open their campaigns in their respective events later in the day.
While Sindhu will face Sayaka Sato of Japan in the women’s singles, Prannoy will take on Keun Dong Lee of Korea in his opening men’s singles encounter.
The mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankiredddy and Ashwini Ponappa will also open their campaign against Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen.
In the men’s doubles, it will be a tough opening match for Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy as the Indian pair has drawn top seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in the opening round, to be played later tonight. (With PTI inputs)