China Open: Sindhu, Prannoy, Jayaram enter next round
Fuzhou (China), Nov 16 (IANS) Olympic medallist P.V. Sindhu won her opening match while Saina Nehwal crashed out in the first round of the women's singles category at the China Open badminton tournament at the Haixia Olympic Sport Center here on Wednesday.
Sindhu coasted to a 21-12, 21-16 win over Chia Hsin Lee of Taiwan in her round of 32 match.
Sindhu, who took the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics earlier this year, will face Beiwen Zhang of Singapore in the pre-quarterfinals.
Zhang defeated Ya Ching Hsu of Taiwan 21-16, 21-18 in her campaign opener.
Sindhu is playing her first tournament since the Rio Olympics.
Saina, meanwhile, lost to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand in a hard fought encounter.
The London Olympics bronze medallist lost the opening game before staging a strong fightback to win the second game and level the scores.
Porntip, however, dominated the third and decisive game to script a 21-16, 19-21, 21-14 win.
Porntip will now take on He Bingjiao of China in her next match. He defeated compatriot Zhang Yiman 20-22, 21-17, 21-19.
Saina was playing her first tournament since recovering from a knee surgery she underwent in August after the Rio Olympics.
"This was my first tournament since Rio Olympics and it felt really good to be back. I was playing after a gap of two and half months after the surgery. Even though I lost early I am quite satisfied with the way I played and gave a tough fight playing against a top player," Saina said later.
"I am feeling good about my fitness level and it will only get better for me from here. I am quite confident of getting back to my best soon and really look forward to play the Premier Badminton League for my team, Awadhe Warriors."
Indians enjoyed a better outing in the men's singles section with both H.S. Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram winning their respective first round matches.
Prannoy entered the second round following an easy 21-13, 21-13 win over Ka Long Angus Ng of Hong Kong.
Prannoy will take on Bin Qiao of China in the last 16 stage.
Qiao outclassed Tien Chen Chou of Taiwan 21-11, 21-13 in a one-sided affair.
Jayaram defeated Zhu Siyuan of China 21-19, 20-22, 21-17 in an exciting encounter.
Jayaram will face Wei Nan of Hong Kong in his next match. Nan got the better of South Korea's Wan Ho Son 21-16, 21-23, 21-15.
It was curtains for B. Sai Praneeth, however, as he lost 16-21, 9-21 to Marc Zwiebler of Germany in the first round.