Saina, Sindhu enter Round 2 of Australian Open
Sydney: Indian badminton stars Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu moved into the women's singles second round after earning wins in their openers at the USD 750,000 Australian Open Super Series here Wednesday.
Eighth seeded Sindhu needed only 31 minutes to move past Japan's Aya Ohori 21-16, 21-14 in 31 minutes. But the World Championship bronze medallist will have a tough outing next when she takes on Thai World No.13 Nichaon Jindapon Thursday.
On the other hand, sixth seeded Saina had to come out with her best to defeat the tall and lanky Chinese player Sun Yu in three tough games which lasted a marathon hour and 15 minutes.
After losing the first game 22-24 in a close contest, the Olympic bronze medallist won the next two 21-17, 21-10 to proceed to the pre-quarter-final at the States Sports Centre. With the win, Saina levelled her head-to-head to 1-1 against Sun.
In the next round the World No.9 will take on compatriot P.C. Thulasi, who beat American Jamie Subandhi 21-16, 21-18 in 31 minutes.
Meanwhile, B. Sai Praneeth advanced to Round 2 of the men's singles after easing past Australian Hoe Keat Oon 21-7, 21-11 in 19 minutes. Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar also proceeded in men's doubles after beating Singaporeans Yong Kai Terry Hee and Zi Liang Derek Wong 21-16, 21-16 in 29 minutes.
Alwin Francis and Arun Vishnu also advanced with a 21-7, 21-11 win over Australian-Indonesia pair Michael Fariman and Moses Tulaar Reyhan in 21 minutes.
However, H.S. Prannoy in men's singles, Manu Attri/N. Siki Reddy, Akshay Dewalkar/Pradnya Gadre, Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan in mixed doubles, Pradnya/Siki in women's doubles and Attri/B. Sumeeth Reddy in men's doubles had to suffer opening round exits.