Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal emerged the lone survivor at the US $400,000 All England Championships, thrashing Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour in straight games to reach the second round, even as compatriot PV Sindhu fell by the wayside in Birmingham.
The 23-year-old notched an easy 21-15, 21-6 victory in a women's singles match to bring some smiles back to the Indian camp after men's singles players Parupalli Kashyap, Kidambi Srikanth and the mixed doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa lost in the opening round.
World No 10, Sindhu too found the going tough and her debut at the All England was spoiled by Sun Yu of China in another women's singles match.
Sindhu, who held a 2-1 record against Sun before the match, was beaten 16-21, 15-21 in 47 minutes at the National Indoor Arena.
Saina was the only bright spot on a dismal day for Indian badminton as she produced a dominating performance to send Gilmour packing in 32 minutes.
She will take on Beiwen Zhang of the United States in the second round.
The seventh seeded Indian opened up a 3-1 lead early on and then kept increasing it. Even though Gilmour kept breathing down her neck for most of the time Saina eventually reeled off four straight points from 16-14 to pocket the first game.
In the second game, the Indian was more dominating as she registered eight straight points to reach 10-2, then had two bursts of four straight points to move to 18-4 before closing the door on her comfortably.
Saina had beaten Gilmour at the Denmark Open last year.
Sindhu, however, had a difficult time against Sun as she lagged behind 5-9 early on, and though the Indian clawed back at 12-12 and then at 15-15, the Chinese reeled off five points on the trot to win the opening game.
In the second game too, Sun moved to 4-2 initially and then extended the lead to 11-7. Sindhu narrowed down the gap to 12-13 but the Chinese was successful in staving off the challenge from the 18-year-old Indian in the end.
Image: Saina Nehwal