India Open: Saina in second round of women’s singles

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Olympic broze medallist and top seed Saina Nehwal advanced to the second round of the women’s singles event at the $200,000 India Open Super Series badminton here Wednesday.

The World No.2 beat Belaetrix Manuputi of Indonesia 21-12, 21-15 in 33 minutes at the Siri Fort Sports Complex to improve her career head-to-head to 2-0. She had earlier beaten the Indonesian at the All England Open in March.

In the men’s Former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia saved a matchpoint to beat home favourite and fifth seed Parupalli Kashyap in a nail-biting men’s singles first round contest.

Taufik won 13-21, 23-21, 21-18 in exactly an hour at the Siri Fort Sports Complex. The Indonesian said he tried to stay focussed when he was match point down in the second game.

“When I was match point down in the second game, I did not think I would win the match. At that time I was thinking, if I lose it will be okay but I just tried to focus which helped me to win three straight points and level the match. Kashyap is a good player but today he was not so lucky,” he said.

Taufik said he always enjoys the Indian hospitality.

“It is always nice playing here in India. I get a lot of support which I enjoy. Even today a lot of people supported me in spite of playing against (Parupalli) Kashyap who is from India,” he said.

K. Srikanth, 20, caused one of the biggest upsets by defeating Danish fourth seed Jan O Jorgensen while former national champion Chetan Anand made a first-round exit from men’s singles.

Playing the Danish World No.6 for the second time, the unseeded Indian Srikanth took only 45 minutes to close the match 21-7, 18-21, 21-12 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here. The Indian had earlier lost to the Dane in the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold last month.

Veteran Anand’s campaign came to an end as he lost to Sourabh Verma 13-21, 8-21 in a little more than half an hour in men’s singles.

Meanwhile, Malaysian top seed Lee Chong Wei advanced to the second round by destroying Scott Evans of Ireland 21-16, 21-5 in 23 minutes in the $200,000 tier two tourney.

Mixed doubles pair V. Diju and Jwala Gutta moved into the second round by beating England’s Chris Langridge and Heather Olver 19-21, 21-15, 21-16 in 53 minutes. They will next face Thai fourth seeds Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam in the next round.

However, both Jwala and Diju lost their women’s and men’s doubles matches, respectively.

Japan’s Misato Aratama and Megumi Taruno beat Jwala and Prajakta Sawant 21-19, 21-10 while Diju and Alwin Francis’ journey came to an end against Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan losing 18-21, 14-21.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.