Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy won their respective openers to advance to the second round at the $400,000 Hong Kong Open Superseries badminton tournament on Wednesday.
However, it was the end of the road for Parupalli Kashyap, B Sai Praneeth and Sourabh Verma, who lost their men’s singles first round matches at the Hong Kong Coliseum. It was also end of the road for Indian doubles players after women doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy & men doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy lost their respective matches.
Rio Olympics silver medallist and second seed PV Sindhu barely broke a sweat as she marched past local girl Leung Yuet Yee 21-18, 21-10 in only 26 minutes. This was World No.2 Sindhu’s first match against the Hong Kong girl.
London Olympics bronze medalist Saina staved off a spirited challenge from World No. 44 Mette Poulsen of Denmark before emerging 21-19, 23-21 winner in a 46-minute match.
World No. 11 Saina, who won the bronze at the World Championship, will next face a tough opponent in eighth seeded Chinese Chen Yufei, who had clinched the other bronze at the Glasgow Worlds in August.
In men’s singles competition, Prannoy survived a scare against Hong Kong’s Hu Yun to win 19-21, 21-17, 21-15 in a match that lasted a little over an hour.
The World No. 10 Indian will face Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai, who had defeated the Indian in the semi-finals of Indonesia Open Super Series Premier.
South Korean Lee Dong Keun beat reigning Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap 15-21, 21-9, 22-20 in an hour and nine minutes to level their head-to-head record to 2-2.
A little while later, Indonesian veteran Tommy Sugiarto beat Verma 21-15, 21-8 in half an hour to take a 2-1 advantage in career meetings over the Indian.
South Korean World No.3 Son Wan-ho earned a straight games victory over Sai Praneeth. The second seed won 21-8, 21-16 in 35 minutes to earn his third win over the Indian in as many meetings.
Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy went down in their women’s doubles match in the opening round. Chinese pair of Huang Dongping and Li Wenmei won 21-11, 19-21, 21-19 in 55 minutes.
Men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy also disappointed as they lost 17-21, 17-21 in 35 minutes to Malaysian-South Korean combine of Khim Wah Lim and Yoo Yeon Seong.