Saina, Srikanth advance; Sindhu bows out of Australian Open
Sydney, June 8 (IANS) Indian stars Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth registered comprehensive wins to advance to the second round, while P.V. Sindhu suffered an opening round upset at the $750,000 Australian Badminton Open Superseries here on Wednesday.
Apart from Srikanth, World No.37 Sameer Verma also advanced to the next round but qualifier R.M.V. Gurusaidutt failed to cross the first round hurdle.
Seventh seed Saina dominated the proceedings from the start as she thrashed local challenger Joy Lai 21-10, 21-14 in just 29 minutes. World No.8 Saina, who had won the Australian Open in 2014, will take on Malaysia's Jin Wei Goh in the second round.
But it was curtains for World No.10 Sindhu, who lost to World No.40 Kim Hyo Min from South Korea 15-21, 19-21 after a 55-minute battle.
Youngster Tanvi Lad came back from a game down to sail into the second round. Tanvi set up a face-off with fourth-seeded Yihan Wang after registering a brilliant 18-21, 21-14, 21-11 come-back win over qualifier Tiffany Ho of Australia in 52 minutes.
Other big names in the women's singles draw, Li Xuerui of China, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and Chinese Taipei's Tai Yzu Ying also moved into the second round.
In men's singles, World No.12 Srikanth took just 32 minutes to register a 21-16, 21-12 comfortable win over World No. 11 NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong.
But Verma had a tough contest against Indonesia's Ihsan Maulana Mustofa before winning 22-20, 15-21 21-15 in a 53-minute contest.
Srikanth and Verma will now face Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in their second round matches respectively.
While Kuncoro upset Chinese sixth seed Tian Houwei 21-16, 21-12, Indonesia's Ginting stunned Chinese Taipei's seventh seed Chou Tien Chen 21-8, 21-12.
Qualifier Gurusaidutt crashed out after going down 19-21, 21-12, 15-21 to World No.14 Hu Yun of Hong Kong.
World No.1 Chen Long kicked off his title defence in an emphatic fashion, giving a lesson to home qualifier Huaidong Tang in a 21-3, 21-4 victory in just 20 minutes.
In the men's doubles competition, India's Nikhar Garg and M. Anilkumar Raju lost against Malaysian eighth seed V. Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan 12-21, 10-21.