Saina wins in Swiss Open

Top seed Saina Nehwal overcame a stiff challenge from French Sashina Vignes Waran in her first round women’s singles tie on Wednesday while London Olympics quarter-finalist Parupalli Kashyap suffered a shock loss against old nemesis in the third round of the $125,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold yesterday.

The World No 3 won 13-21, 21-15, 21-12 in 47 minutes at St Jakobshalle to take a 2-0 lead in career meetings over the World No 40 French girl.

Saina Nehwal returns against Thailand’s Intanon Ratchanok in the All-England Championships semi-final in Birmingham on March 9. Pic/AFP

Coincidentally, Saina last met Sashina in the same tournament two years back, that too in the first round.

The Hyderabadi will next play Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria, against whom Saina has a 5-2 record, winning the last five ties.

Kashyap, who advanced to the third round beating unseeded German Dieter Domke in 50 minutes on Wednesday, went down to Malaysian ninth seed Wei Feng Chong 21-18, 7-21, 16-21 in 55 minutes in the tier three tournament.

Kerala’s HS Prannoy, ranked 97 in the world, defeated seventh seed and former World No 4 Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand in 55 minutes to advance to the third round.

The 20-year-old won 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 in his first ever match against the World No 11. He next faces Chinese Taipei’s 15th seed Tien Chen Chou for a place in the quarter-finals.

Easy for Sindhu
PV Sindhu’s women’s singles match lasted only two minutes as her South Korean opponent Ji Hyun Sung, seeded third, retired when the score was 7-2 in favour of the Indian. With this, Sindhu now has a 2-0 head-to-head against the World No 5. The 17-year-old will next play Japanese qualifier Yui Hashimoto in their first ever encounter in the second round. In men’s doubles action, Pranav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar overcame Thai duo Bodin Issara and Sudket Prapakamol 12-21, 21-17, 21-15 in 40 minutes to move into the second round.

Saina is World No 2
Saina regained the second spot in women’s singles rankings while Parupalli Kashyap jumped two places in men’s singles to reach a career-best No 7 in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released yesterday.

Saina reclaimed the No 2 ranking by pushing current World Champion Yihan Wang of China to third as she trails World No 1 and Olympic champion Li Xuerui by quite a margin.

Meanwhile, city-mate PV Sindhu retained her 16th position. Kashyap leapt two places after a string of consistent performances.

Meanwhile, Mumbai’s Ajay Jayaram retained 31st while RMV Gurusaidutt, Sourabh Varma and Anand Pawar are ranked 36, 39 and 44, respectively, in the men’s singles rankings.

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