Indian shuttlers made a rousing start to the new season, reaching the second round of the US $120,000 Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold, in Penang, on Wednesday.
P V Sindhu, K Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram, Subhankar Dey, B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma scored easy first round singles victories, while the pair of Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa shocked a fancied Malaysian pair to enter the second round of the women’s doubles.
A little over two weeks after playing in the Premier Badminton League, two-time World Championships bronze medallist Sindhu, seeded third, thrashed Switzerland's Sabrina Jaquet 21-17, 21-16 in 33 minutes in a women’s singles match.
In the men’s singles, 2014 China Open winner Srikanth brushed aside Malaysia's Wei Feng Chong 21-17, 21-11; tenth seed Ajay Jayaram, who had a good outing for Delhi Acers in the PBL, beat Japan's Takuma Ueda 21-19 21-11; Tata Open winner Sameer shocked 12th seeded Japanese Sho Sasaki 21-18, 21-18; Sai Praneeth defeated Malaysia's Shahzan Shah Misfahul 21-13, 21-15 and young Subhankar Dey accounted for Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen, wining 21-19, 21-16.
2010 Commonwealth Games champions, Gutta-Ponnappa scored a hard-fought 21-14, 14-21, 25-23 victory over Mei Kuan Chow and Lee Meng Yean in 54 minutes.
Image: P V Sindhu