India’s leading shuttlers P V Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and Anand Pawar got off to winning starts in the singles event at the US $125,000 Swiss Grand Prix Gold tournament in Basel on Wednesday.
World Championships' women’s bronze medallist Sindhu posted a comfortable 21-18, 21-15 victory over Malaysia’s Sannatasah Saniru in 32 minutes to enter the second round.
Kashyap and Pawar also reached the second round, even as it was curtains for Kidambi Srikanth in the men's singles and Saili Rane in the women's.
Seventh seeded Sindhu opened with a 3-0 lead and went on to extend it to 10-3 in the first game. But the Malaysian did well to reduce the gap to 15-16 and level scores at 17.
However, at 18-18, the 18-year-old Hyderabadi girl showed a lot of character, pocketing three straight points to win the opening game 21-18.
The second game was a neck-and-neck battle till 7-7 before the Malaysian opened up a 13-9 lead and Sindhu caught at 14.
There was no looking back for the Indian from there on as she allowed the Malaysian just one more point before sealing the game and match.
World No 9 Sindhu will take on the winner of the match between Li Michelle of Canada and Russia's Ella Diehl next.
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kashyap prevailed over The Netherlands' Erik Meijs 21-17, 21-15 in 34 minutes.
World No 18 Kashyap led 6-3 early on, before slipping to 9-11, but he raised his game in time and pocketed the first game.
The second game was a more comfortable ride as Kashyap jumped from 5-4 to 10-4 before closing the door on Erik.
The third seeded Indian will next take on Germany’s Lukas Schmidt.
Anand, too, hardly broke much sweat before getting past Malaysia's Kok Pong Loke 21-17, 21-10 in 26 minutes, to set up a meeting with another German, Tobias Wadenka.
However, Thailand Grand Prix Gold winner, Srikanth, seeded fifth, could not reach the next stage after his gallant fight against Sweden's Henri Hurskainen ended with a close 21-19, 18-21, 17-21 defeat.
Third seeded Shixian Wang of China completely outplayed young Indian Saili, winning 21-8, 21-9 in just 31 minutes.
The Indian mixed doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa also went down fighting to the Polish combo of Robert Mateusiak and Agnieszka Wojtkowska 10-21, 21-16, 13-21 in 43 minutes.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist combination of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa play later on Wednesday.
Image: Parupalli Kashyap