India shuttler Parupalli Kashyap and Sai Praneeth advanced to the second round of the 2019 China Open, while Saina Nehwal suffered a first-round defeat to Cai Yan Yan to be eliminated from the tournament.
A day after PV Sindhu suffered a shock first-round upset to lower-ranked Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei, Saina, the world No. 9, lost 9-21 and 12-21 to local favourite Yan in a match that took the Chinese shuttler only 24 minutes to wrap up. Since claiming the Indonesia Masters in January, Saina has been hampered by injuries, which have led to poor form. Prior to reaching the quarterfinal of the French Open last month, she had suffered three first-round exits.
But Saina’s husband and personal coach Kashyap displayed no nerves and eased to a straight-game victory with a 21-14, 21-13 win over Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin in approximately 45 minutes and will face seventh seed Victor Axelson of Denmark in the second round.
B Sai Praneeth, bronze medallist from the World Championships, outlasted Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in a hard-fought contest. In a match that lasted almost an hour, Praneeth came back strong from a first-game defeat to clinch the next two and beat his opponent 15-21, 21-12 and 21-10. His next opponent will be fourth seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark.
The mixed doubles pair of Pranav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy joined Saina to make a first-round exit as they went down 14-21 14-21 to Wang Chi-Lin and Cheng Chi Ya of Chinese Taipei.