Saina Nehwal kick-started 2021 with a dominating win over Malaysia’s Kisona Selvaduray to enter the second round of Thailand Open Super 1000 badminton tournament on Wednesday. Saina beat Kisona 21-15, 21-15 in a 36-minute clash. Olympic bronze medallist Saina will now face Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the second round.Also Read - India Open: PV Sindhu Advances After Kidambi Srikanth, 6 Others Test Covid Positive

It was not the easiest of the way for Saina before the tournament as she forced to withdraw from the event for positive COVID-19 results on Tuesday but later returned a negative test. Also Read - India Open badminton: Kidambi Srikanth Among Seven Tests Covid Positive, Withdraws from Event

After the win, Saina showed his gratitude towards Badminton World Federation officials and doctors for allowing her to participate. Also Read - Actor Siddharth Booked by Hyderabad Cyber Crime Police for Tweet Against Saina Nehwal

“Yesterday, I was given a positive COVID-19 result after my PCR test but I already told them that I had COVID last November, so I have antibodies. I tried to explain this to the doctor and after my blood tests and chest X-rays the doctor said I was OK and I don’t have COVID-19,” Saina said after her win.

“I am thankful to the doctors, the BWF and everyone who made the decision for me to play. It was a tiring day but I am happy I could comeback and play my match.”

Former world number one Kidambi Srikanth also reached round two after registering a win over compatriot Sourabh Verma 21-12, 21-11.

Srikanth will next play eight seed Zii Jia Lee of Malaysia, who defeated another Indian HS Prannoy 13-21 21-14 21-8.

Star men’s doubles pair Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy fought back to beat their South Korean opponents Kim Gi Jung and Lee Yong Dae 19-21, 21-16, 21-14 in a first-round match that lasted one hour and eight minutes.

India ace shuttler Parupalli Kashyap suffered a huge blow as he retired midway in his first match of the ongoing the Thailand Open Super 1000 against Jason Anthony Ho-Shue of Canada after sustaining a calf injury.