Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal notched up a comfortable straight-game victory over Hong Kong's Pui Yin Yip to start her India Open Super Series campaign on a positive note, in New Delhi, on Wednesday.
The World No. 5 Saina hardly broke a sweat and wrapped up the match inside half an hour, beating the Hong Kong girl 21-14, 21-6 to set up a clash with Koean Youn Joo Bae in the women's singles.
Aiming to qualify for the London Olympics, Ajay Jayaram and P Kashyap scored contrasting victories in their opening matches in the men's singles at the Siri Fort Sport Complex.
World number 27 Ajay Jayaram saw off compatriot Sourabh Varma 21-15, 17-21, 21-11 in a 55-minute match to keep his Olympic qualification bid on track. The Mumbai shuttler will take on World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in the second round on Thursday.
His compatriot P Kashyap also kept his hopes alive by notching up a comfortable 21-11, 21-14 victory over Belgium Yuhan Tan to set up a clash with Boonsak Poonsana of Thailand.
In other women's singles matches, Neha Pandit crossed the first hurdle, beating Malaysian Jing Yi Tee 21-18, 9-21, 21-19 in a 48-minute match, while P V Sindhu notched up a 17-21, 19-21 win over Chinese Taipei's Tzu Ying Tai.
In men's doubles competition, Manish Gupta and Gaurav Venkat prevailed over compatriot Sanjeeth S and Jagadish Yadav 21-14, 15-21, 21-15, while top Indian pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas also reached the second round after their top seed opponents Jae Sung Jung and Yong Dae Lee of Korea gave a walkover.
However, it was curtains for World No. 16 Indians V Diju and Jwala Gutta, who were looking to book a berth for the London Olympics. The Indian duo lost 18-21, 19-21 to Chinese pair of Tao Jiaming and Xia Huan in a 35-minute match.
Deeply hurt after the defeat, Jwala said she couldn't give her best as she was put off by the last-minute shift of her match.
"I didn't play well today. My match was shifted at the last minute without informing us. There were two more matches ahead of our match and it was me who went to the referre and asked and he gave us 15 minutes to get ready. Now can you hurry and warm up. It put me off completely," she said.
"I don't want to blame but why this lack of coordination. Such stupid things can happen in a small tournament, not in a super series. I hope such things doesn't happen again. I couldn't give my 100 percent. Playing well and losing is different but you can't win by playing horribly," she said.
Jwala, however, conceded that it won't affect their Olympics dreams.
Among other Indians, National Games champion Arundhati Pantawane suffered a heartbreak when she lost 9-21, 11-21 to fourth seed Chinese Yanjiao Jiang in women's singles, while RMV Gurusaidutt played his heart out before losing
Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu suffered a 15-21, 10-21 defeat at the hands of Indonesian pair of Angga Pratama and Ryan Agung Saputra in the men's doubles, while Gopi Raju G and Shivam Sharma lost 7-21, 15-21 to Malaysian pair of V Shem Goh and Khim Wah Lim.
Up against third seeds Chinese Biao Chai and Zhendong Guo, Indian pair of Mayank Behal and Manjush Mohan K K lost 9-21, 7-21, while in another match fourth seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Bona Septano of Indonesia taught a lesson or two to Sumeeth Reddy B and Hemanagendra Babu T, beating the Indian pair 21-12, 21-13.
Manu Attri and Jishnu Sanyal also fell by the wayside, losing 13-21, 17-21 to Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz of Indonesia. Another men's doubles pair of Bennet Antony and Suraj PH also succumbed to a 17-21, 12-21 defeat to Korean pair of Ki Jung Kim and Sa Rang Kim.
Pradnya Gadre and Prajakta Sawant lost 21-19, 11-21, 10-21 to Duanganong Aroonkesorn and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul.
In mixed doubles, Pranav Chopra and Prajakta Sawant also suffered a similar fate as they squandered a first game lead to go down 21-16, 19-21, 11-21 to Japanese pair of Noriyasu Hirata and Miyuki Maeda.
Seventh seeds Japanese pair of Shintaro Ikeda and Reiko Shiota sent packing Indian pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan 21-9 21-19 in a 29-minute match, while Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre lost to third seed Koreans Yong Dae Lee and Jung Eun Ha 18-21 15-21.
Manu Attri and Siki Reddy N also lost their match against Singaporeans Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Yu Yan Vanessa Neo 11-21, 21-17, 15-21, while Hemanagendra Babu T and Jyotshna P went down 13-21, 13-21 to Chinese pair of Hanbin He and Yixin Bao.