Ace Indian women shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal registered convincing wins to sail into the second round but world championships bronze-medallist B Sai Praneeth and seasoned campaigner Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the Malaysia Masters Badminton tournament on Wednesday. Reigning world champion Sindhu seeded sixth, took just 35 minutes to beat Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 21-15, 21-13 in the first round.
The other Indian in the fray in the women’s singles event, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina needed just 36 minutes to get the better of Belgium’s Lianne Tan.
The unseeded Saina brushed aside Tan 21-15, 21-17 in just 36 minutes of action. This was the first time the two were facing each other.
Both Sindhu and Saina have struggled in the past year making a series of early exits with the former failing to defend the World Tour Finals crown last month.
Earlier, Praneeth made a first-round exit after going down tamely to Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke 11-21, 15-21 while Srikanth lost his second round encounter to Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen 17-21, 5-21 in only 30 minutes.
Following a first-round exit, Srikanth’s chances to book a berth for Tokyo Olympics 2020 has dealt a major blow. The former world number one has lately struggled with form and injuries
On Tuesday, the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, ranked number 12 in the BWF rankings, lost to world number 19 Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi of Malaysia.