Saina, Sindhu and Kashyap begin campaign with wins at Badminton Worlds
Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the World Championships in their respective categories at the Tianhe Indoor Stadium here Wednesday.
World No.3 Saina hammered Russia's Olga Golovanova in only 23 minutes in their first ever encounter.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who had reached the quarterfinals of previous editions in 2009 and 2011, brushed aside Olga 21-5 21-4.
In the women's singles pre-quarters, Saina will face Thai 15th seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk.
Saina has a 5-0 record against Porntip but the Indian will have to be on guard as past records do not count and such matches could turn out to be tricky sometimes.
Saina, who took to the court for the first time after her quarterfinal exit at the Singapore Open Super Series in June, began her campaign with a few conservative rallies before stepping up the pressure and took 13 points in a row to pocket the first game.
The second game also proved to be a one-sided affair with the Indian star toying with her opponent.
Although, the girl from Hyderabad faltered a bit with her net strokes initially, she recovered quickly. Olga committed a series of unforced errors and even though she tried to engage Saina in rallies, the Russian never had the strokes to finish off the points.
"It was a good match. I was playing her for the first time but it went on pretty well," said Saina.
Earlier in the day, P V Sindhu overcame a fighting Kaori Imabeppu of Japan to secure her place in the third round of the women's singles competition.
Seeded 10th, Sindhu, who won the Malaysia Grand Prix in May this year, had to sweat it out for an hour and 11 minutes before she could prevail over unseeded Imabeppu 21-19 19-21 21-17.
However, the 18-year-old World number 12 next faces an extremely difficult task against second seed and defending champion Yihan Wang of China, who beat the Hyderabadi at the Sudirman Cup in May in their only meeting.
"I am feeling good with the way I played today. It was a good match. I could have won the second game but few errors cost me. I have already played Yihan once in Sudirman Cup. I had taken the match to three games. So I will give my 100 percent tomorrow and hopefully will do well," Sindhu said.
There were more heartbreaks for India as men's doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu crashed out of the tournament after suffering a 15-21 21-13 17-21 defeat against 15th seeded Indonesian pair of Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Markis Kido.