Sai Praneeth stuns World no 4, Saina advances in Singapore

Jun 19, 2013, 18:40 IST | PTI

Saina Nehwal and Sai Praneeth have advanced to the 2nd round of the Singapore Super Series, proving to be only two bright spots for India at prestigious event.

Rising Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth B notched up a stunning straight-game victory over world number four Yun Hu of Hong Kong in the men's singles opening round in the Singapore Super Series here today.

Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal, meanwhile, avenged her quarterfinal loss at the Thailand Open by Juan Gu with a comfortable straight-game victory over the Singaporean in the opening round of the Singapore Open.

Sai Praneeth
Sai Praneeth stunned world no 4 Yun Hu of Hong Kong in the Singapore Super Series first round. File Pic/AFP

The 61-ranked Sai Praneeth, who is enjoying a good run in international tournaments, brushed aside the second seeded shuttler 21-9 21-10 in a match that lasted 30 minutes at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. 

The 20-year-old from Hyderabad, who had spoilt former world and Olympics champion Taufik Hidayat's farewell in Indonesia, will next take on the winner between RMV Gurusaidutt and Wei Feng Chong in the second round.

Praneeth had lost to Yun in straight games at the Vietnam International Challenge in 2009. 

Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal avenged her quarterfinal loss at the Thailand Open by Juan Gu with a comfortable straight-game victory over the Singaporean in the opening round of the Singapore Super Series here today.

The World number two Indian took 40 minutes to pack off Juan, ranked 21, 21-14 23-21 in the women's singles competition to record her fifth victory over the local player.

The 23-year-old from Hyderabad will next take on Japanese Eriko Hirose, who holds a 3-2 record against the Indian.

The world number 12 had spoilt Saina's All England campaign when she beat her in straight games in the quarterfinals in the 2011 edition.

Saina surged ahead to a 5-1 lead initially but Juan clawed back with four straight points. However, the Indian didn't allow Juan much chance after that and successfully kept her at bay to earn the bragging rights.

In the second game, Juan was impressive as she held a 10-5 lead early on but Saina bounced back to level par at 12-12.

After a brief fight, Saina was successful in grabbing the lead at 19-16 but Juan didn't want to go down without a fight. The Singaporean produced a four-point burst to lead 20-19 but it was Saina who had the last laugh in the end.  

However, all other Indians suffered defeats in the opening round to crash out of the tournament.

Ajay Jayaram went down fighting 19-21 21-18 17-21 against fourth seed Kenichi Tago of Japan, while top seed Pengyu Du sent Anand Pawar packing 21-16 21-13 in another men's singles match.

Another rising shuttler Sourabh Varma was defeated 17-21 17-21 by Wing Ki Wong in another men's singles opening round match which lasted for 37 minutes.

In women's singles, Arundhati Pantawane lost to world number 26 Bulgarian Petya Nedelcheva 18-21 18-21, while PC Thulasi put up a gallant fight against world number 14 Indonesian Lindaweni Faetri before going down 23-21 16-21 16-21 in an energy-sapping 66-minute match.

In mixed doubles competition, Indian pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to third seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir 6-21 10-21, while Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan suffered a 17-21 21-19 12-21 loss to Thai combo of Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul. 

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