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Hong Kong Open round-up: Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu enter second round

FEATURED COLUMNIST
739   //    23 Nov 2016, 23:24 IST
Saina Nehwal
Saina back to winning ways

Continuing India’s great day at the final Superseries event of the year – the 2016 Hong Kong Open – the newly-crowned China Open champion PV Sindhu picked up from where she had left at Fuzhou last Sunday to enter the second round.  The 21-year-old, unseeded at this tournament, was in devastating form and needed just 32 minutes to dismiss Indonesia’s World No. 119 Susanto Yulia Yosephin 21-13, 21-16.

She will next face the 28th ranked Chinese Taipei shuttler Hsu Ya Ching, who toppled the seventh seed and China Open semi-finalist Sung Ji Hyun. 

Sindhu was a class apart right from the start as she imposed her aggressive game early on in the match. After a breezy first game, the second game turned out to be a bit more competitive and the Indonesian even snatched the lead at one point to inch ahead 16-14.

But that was all she could do as Sindhu came storming back to win the last seven points and complete the win.

First win of comeback for Saina 

Earlier, 2012 London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal secured the first win of her comeback. The Hong Kong Open is just the second event for the World No. 6, who was out for three months due to a knee surgery.

She met the very same player – World No. 12 Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand – who had beaten her in the opening round at the China Open last week. But this time she was careful not to let the result repeat itself.

After losing the first game, the fifth seed made an admirable comeback bringing all her fighting skills to the fore to notch up a 12-21, 21-19, 21-17 win.

She will next square off against the World No. 14 Sayaka Sato of Japan.

Jayaram, Prannoy, Sameer Verma victorious

In men’s singles, India had triple delight with each of HS Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram and Sameer Verma entering Round 2.  While Verma and Prannoy both secured straight-game wins, Jayaram did not have an easy route.

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The World No. 23 put up a gutsy display to stave off the challenge of Anthony Sinisuka Ginting for a 21-15, 13-21, 21-16 win in 56 minutes.

B Sai Praneeth was the only Indian casualty in men’s singles as he went down 18-21, 18-21 to the third seed and China Open champion Jan O Jorgensen. 

Meanwhile, India’s campaign ended in men’s doubles with the only Indian pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy bowing out 15-21, 8-21 to the Korean combine of Solgyu Choi and Ko Sung Hyun.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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