World No. 2 and star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal defeated world number 20 Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand 21-8, 18-21, 21-16 in the first round of Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships, 2013. Saina will now face the winner of the match between Japanese shuttler Minatsu Mitani and Indonesian Belaetrix Manuputi in the next round.
Saina started the match with a bang, as she took the first game 21-8 in just 13 minutes, but her real test started in the second game when the Thai shuttler started to put pressure on Saina by getting some smash winners and net winners. The Thai player got 5 points in a row when the scores were 7-7 in the second game. Saina, who was trailing 15-18 in the second game, tried her level best to make a comeback, but unfortunately lost the game 21-18.
Saina’s start to the third game was not good, as she lost the first four points of the game, but from there onwards it was all Saina. Saina, who was leading 11-9 at the mid-game interval of the third game, took 6 points in a row when the scores were at 11-11. The Thai player tried her best to cause a huge upset in the first round of the tournament, but lost after fighting for 53 minutes.
In the mixed doubles, the Indian pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponappa, who are currently ranked 31 in the world, lost to the world number 10 Indonesian pairing of Shendy Puspa and Fran Kurniawan 18-21, 10-21 in just 24 minutes. Another Indian mixed doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre were absolutely no match for the Malaysian pair of Jian Guo and Yin Loo Lim, as they lost 8-21 13-21 in just 23 minutes.Published 07 Mar 2013, 00:41 IST