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Asian Games: Saina, Sindhu sail into second round of badminton

Incheon: India made a resounding start in the individual badminton event of the 17th Asian Games with ace shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu sailing into the second round of women's singles competition here today.

While Olympics bronze medallist Saina made mincemeat of her lesser-known opponent U Teng Iok of Macau, notching up a 21-10 21-8 win, Sindhu whipped Kit Leng Wong of Macau 21-17 21-13 in another lop-sided match that lasted for 19 minutes at the Gyeyang Gymnasium here.

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal. Pic/ AFP

Indian women's doubles pair of Pradnya Gadre and Sikki Reddy Nelakurthi and men's doubles combination of B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri too stormed into the second round with easy victories.

World number 55 pair of Pradnya and Sikki gave a lesson or two to their lower-ranked rivals Sichhya Shrestha and Punam Gurung of Nepal as they wrapped up their match in just 16 minutes with a 21-16 21-4 win. Sumeeth and Manu too hardly broke a sweat when they brushed aside Nasheeu Sharafudden and Mohamed Sarim of Maldavis 21-7 21-7 in another lop-sided match that lasted for just 19 minutes.

In the women's singles match, Saina did not have to exert herself as her opponent made too many mistakes to hand over easy points to the Indian. There were hardly any rallies in the match as Iok kept sending the shuttle wide and long to make life easy for Saina.

Eight seed Sindhu, who won four bronze medals this season, too did not have any problem for most part of the match but she committed too many unforced errors in the dying moments of the match when she was leading 19-9 to gift away few points to Wong.

However, it was all over soon when Wong hit long and then found the net as Sindhu marched into the second round. However, Indian men's doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra lost 10-21 15-21 to Chinese combo of Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng.

Parupalli Kashyap and K Srikanth have been handed byes in the opening round and will start their campaign in the round of 32 of the men's singles competition tomorrow.

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