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Rediff.com  » Sports » Saina, Sindhu advance in Malaysia Open

Saina, Sindhu advance in Malaysia Open

Last updated on: January 15, 2014 17:47 IST

Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu got their season's campaign off to winning starts, notching straight-game victories in the opening round of the women's singles at the $500,000 Malaysia Super Series Premier on Wednesday.

While eighth seeded Saina took just 36 minutes to get the better of Indonesia's Hera Desi 21-10, 21-16 in their first ever meeting, Sindhu was made to fight hard before prevailing over old foe Lindaweni Fanetri, also of Indonesia, 21-17, 21-18 in 43 minutes.

Saina will next face Yao Xue of China, while world No 11 Sindhu takes on sixth seed Yeon Ju Bae of Korea in the second round at the Putra stadium.

In the men's singles, however, Anand Pawar and R M V Gurusaidutt crashed out of the event after contrasting defeats in their first round matches.

World No 8 Saina hardly broke a sweat against her Indonesian opponent. The Hyderabadi dominated the proceedings, winning as many as 42 points as compared to just 26 by Hera.

Having opened up a 2-0 lead in the first game, Saina kept extending it to seal it off 21-10.

In the second game, Hera gave Saina some anxious moments. It was a close battle till 6-6 before the Indian won four successive points to surge ahead and eventually have it easy in the end.

Sindhu, on the other hand, fought neck-and-neck till 15-15 in the opening game before bagging three points on the trot to forge ahead. Thereafter, there was no looking back for her.

The second game was also hard-fought as the 18-year-old World Championship bronze-medallist Indian came from behind to emerge triumphant.

Fanetri first opened up a 9-5 lead, but Sindhu won four straight points to catch up at 9-9. The Indian then surged ahead 13-10 but yet again the Indonesian leveled at 13.

The scores ran neck and neck till 16-16 before the Indian raised her game when it mattered the most to enter the next round of the tournament.

It was, however, a disappointing day for India in the men's singles event.

Anand Pawar failed to put up a fight against Zhengming Wang of China and went down 12-21 11-21 in 33 minutes.

In contrast, Gurusaidutt showed a lot of spirit before losing 18-21, 21-11, 21-23 to Eric Pang of the Netherlands.