New Zealand Open 2019: Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy advance, Saina Nehwal crashes out
It was a disappointing day for Indian shuttlers as a number of them crashed out in the first round of the Super Level 300, New Zealand Open, played at Auckland on Wednesday.
In the women’s singles, Saina Nehwal suffered a shock loss to World number 212 Wang Zhi Yi of China in three sets. It was a disappointing performance by Saina, who lost by a 16-21, 23-21, 4-21 scoreline to be knocked out of the competition in the first round itself.
In all-Indian first round match, Sai Praneeth defeated Subhankar Dey in three sets by a 21-17, 19-21, 21-15 scoreline to move into the 2nd round. He will take on Lin Dan of China in the next round, hoping to cause an upset.
HS Prannoy, on the other hand, defeated Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in straight sets. It was a commanding performance by Prannoy, who thoroughly outplayed his opponent, winning the match 21-15, 21-14 to move into the 2nd round where he will take on Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia.
Meanwhile, youngster Lakshya Sen put on a stern resistance against Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei before succumbing in three sets 15-21, 21-18, 10-21 to be knocked out in the first round of the tournament.
The men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy defeated the Australian pair of J Feng and J Jiang in two straight sets 21-7, 21-10 to move into the 2nd round where they will take on Goh V S and Tan W K.
Lastly, the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy lost to the Chinese combine of Liu XX and Xia Y T in three sets. The Indian pair put on an impressive display, but ultimately fell short, going down in three sets 14-21, 23-21, 14-21.