Kuala Lumpur: Ace Indian shuttlers, PV Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap, moved into the second round while Saina Nehwal crashed out in the opening round at the Malaysia Open 2022 women’s and men’s singles events respectively at the Axiata Arena, here on Wednesday. Sindhu, seventh in the badminton world rankings, beat world No 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand 21-13, 21-17 in the first round.
On the other hand, World No 26 Saina, who was competing for the first time since the Thailand Open in May, was beaten by 30th-ranked Iris Wang of the US 11-21, 17-21. The London 2012 bronze medallist is yet to go past the second round this year. Former world champion Sindhu took control of the match from the start with a four-point lead at the first break.
With scores at 16-13, Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, won five successive points to take the 1-0 lead. Chochuwong fought hard to stay in the match in the second game. Sindhu, however, once again broke free late with six consecutive points after trailing 15-17.
With this win, Sindhu improved her head-to-head record over Chochuwong to 6-3. She will now face world No 20 Phittayaporn Chaiwan of Thailand in the second round. Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap, got better of South Korea’s Heo Kwang Hee 21-12, 21-17 in the first round of men’s singles.
In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam went down to two-time world champions Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara of Japan 11-21, 14-21. India’s mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and B Sumeeth Reddy also lost to European Games medallists Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek of the Netherlands 15-21, 21-19, 17-21 to make a first-round exit.