Former world number one Saina Nehwal was knocked out in the first round of the ongoing Denmark Open World Tour Super 750 tournament on Wednesday. Saina lost her opening match 15-21, 21-23 against Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi to crash out. Going through a tough phase in her career due to fitness-related issues, Saina didn’t look at her very best against the swift Japanese and lacked rhythm right from word go.
The 29-year-old Indian shuttler was struggling to match Takahashi’s pace and deception in both the games and most of the times was seen playing the catch-up. After losing the first game, Saina displayed her old form and class as she made a comeback of sorts in the second to stretch the encounter in Odense. But, a couple of unforced errors at crucial junctures cost the London Olympic bronze medallist a place in the second round.
Saina was earlier diagnosed with a gastroenteritis problem in March, made first-round exits in China and Korea and she will aim to get deep into the draw.
In the men’s singles event – Sameer Verma defeated Kanta Tsuneyama 21-11, 21-11 to advance to the pre-quarterfinals. Sameer will play former world number one Chen Long in the last 16 clash.
In the mixed doubles category, Indian pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra/N Sikki Reddy defeated Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler in straight games – 21-16, 21-11 – to move to the next round.
Whereas, the star pair of Ashwini Ponappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy didn’t take the court and conceded a walkover in round 1.
On day 1 of Denmark Open, world champion PV Sindhu made an impressive start to her campaign, claiming a straight-game win over Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the women’s singles match.
Fifth seed Sindhu, who had made early exits in China and Korea, got back her bearing as she overcame former World Junior Champion Gregoria 22-20, 21-18 in 38 minutes to keep her 5-0 record intact against the Indonesian.
World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth also made it to the second round beating the legendary Lin Dan 21-14, 21-17 in a 35-minute opening round clash.