How the Indian players fared on day 2 of Tahoe China Open
Saina Nehwal breezed past Beiwen Zhang in a comfortable 21-12, 21-13 victory in the first round of women's singles of the China Open Superseries Premier. Nehwal, who defeated PV Sindhu last week to win the senior nationals, put up a solid performance to overpower her American opponent.
World No. 12 Zhang failed to match Saina's brilliance as the 27-year-old Indian came up with a stunning performance to knock Zhang out of the tournament.
In the first set, Saina led 11-6 at the break before Zhang bounced back and made it 12-10. Saina came up with a string of exquisite winners and claimed the first set 21-12. The second set followed a similar script as the Indian shuttler vanquished her opponent 21-13.
Saina will face the fifth seed, Akane Yamaguchi, of Japan in the second round.
World No. 2, PV Sindhu also cruised into the second round after beating Sayaka Sato 24-22, 23-21 in the first round.
Sindhu's arch-rival Nozomi Okuhara had to retire from the tournament after she suffered an injury against Gao Fangjie, which will make Sindhu's path easier.
HS Prannoy got the better of South Korea's Lee Dong Keun in the men's singles opener as the 25-year-old Indian advanced into the second round with a 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 victory.
Prannoy really got into the thick of things after losing the first set and the Indian kept his cool to emerge victorious against Dong Keun. The 25-year-old is in the form of his life and will face Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk Yiu in the second round.
Meanwhile, Sourabh Verma crashed out of the tournament after a 12-21, 21-15, 17-21 defeat to Brice Leverdez in a 54-minute encounter.
Since Kidambi Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram, Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth pulled out of the tournament, Prannoy is now the only Indian contender in the men's singles of the China Open Superseries Premier.
The pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty faced the Chinese fifth seeds Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan in the first round of men's doubles. The Chinese duo knocked the Indians out of the tournament with a 21-13, 21-13 win.
The second Indian duo of Manu Atri and B. Sumeeth Reddy also lost out, to Indonesian pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. The Indians came up with a competitive performance in the first set which they eventually lost 21-18. The Indonesian duo kept calm in the second set to win the match 21-18, 21-15.
The duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki N. Reddy fell short against their South Korean opponents, Ha Na Baek and Chae Yoo Jung who won the match 21-14, 21-15.
The mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy went down to the Danish duo of Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen. In a tiring encounter which lasted for about 69 minutes, the Indians succumbed 19-21, 21-17, 13-21. Ponnappa and Rankireddy won two straight matches yesterday to qualify for the main draw of mixed doubles but their campaign has now come to an end.