This is the first win for Nehwal in her comeback. This should definitely inspire her even further as she continues to seek her way back to the top echelons once again.
Full score: 12-21, 21-19, 21-17
And SAINA NEHWAL WINS IT!!!!!!
With a powerful smash, Saina has reached match point at 20-17
Once more the Thai has reduced the deficit to just two points (17-19)
A pumped-up Nehwal has now jumped ahead to 19-15
The Thai is trying to make a comeback here and has closed the gap to 15-17.
With the Thai conceding unforced errors, the Indian is looking pretty good at 17-12
With a huge shout of 'Come on', the Indian has jumped to 16-10
Just the speed is one area she needs to work on.
Saina's fans will be happy to know that the star is looking quite fit. From jumping to return high shots to crouching on her knee to retrieve the lower ones, she is currently comfortable with it all. The Indian is now up 14-9
As the Thai failed to retrieve a shot at the net, Saina has surged ahead to 11-4 at half-time.
An angular smash from the Thai helped reduce the deficit to 4-9.
Saina looks to be in control at the moment and has built up an 8-3 lead.
Nehwal is quickly up 6-1 as the Thai seems to be struggling.
Saina needs to be careful not to concede any errors here. And she begins 2-0 which she extends to 3-1
In a repeat of the China Open first round, Saina Nehwal has grabbed the second game 21-19. It is one game all now!!!!
The Thai's shots finds the net and Saina has game point at 20-19
Saina went up 19-17 but the Thai came charging to erase the deficit and level at 19-19
The Thai is now breathing down Saina's neck at 17-18 and the Indian needs to be careful.
Saina is showing great movement and is using her high smashes to keep the Thai at bay. Up now 18-14
Nehwal has been able to hold on to her lead and has now surged to 15-13
The Indian has fought back admirably well to clinch a slim lead of 11-10 at half-time. Can she continue?
But the Thai has once more steered the game into her direction and has gone up 9-5.
Saina has now built a mini lead of 4-2 and will hope to stretch this to a decider much like she did in China.
And the first game goes to the Thai who slams shuts Saina's chances at 21-12.
With a calm head and controlled aggression, the Thai has now soared to 15-9.
But the Indian has not been able to contain her Thai rival's pace after that who has shot up 11-6 at the interval, winning five points in a row.
The hard-fought early exchange continues and the two are now locked at 6-6
But the fighter in Saina has resurfaced here and she has put the game back on level terms at 5-5
And she confidently extends that to 4-2.
Good morning and welcome to the Sportskeeda liveblog of the Hong Kong Open first round. This is Saina Nehwal's second tournament since her knee surgery as she continues to make her comeback. Incidentally, last week it was this same opponent, Porntip Buranaprasertsuk to whom the World No. 6 had succumbed to a first round defeat despite sneaking out a game.
Can she be lucky against the World No. 12 this time?
Just like last week at the China Open, the Thai shuttler is looking to assert herself early and is off to a 2-1 lead.