Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu had to toil before emerging victorious in the opening round of the Malaysia Masters while compatriot Saina Nehwal made a second consecutive first-round exit in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
The seventh-seeded Sindhu took close to an hour to knock out China's He Bing Jiao 21-13, 17-21, 21-15 and move to the second round and avengeher first-round exit from the Indonesia Open Super 1000 last month. The Chinese though still leads the head-to-head 10-9.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, on the other hand, squandered a one-game lead to go down 21-16, 17-21, 14-21 to Kim Ga Eun of South Korea.
The World No 24 Indian had also made a first-round exit from the Malaysia Open Super 750 tournament last week.
In the men's singles, HS Prannoy sailed into the second round after he claimed a comfortable 21-19, 21-14 victory over Frenchman Brice Leverdez.
In the other men's singles events, B Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap also moved to the second round, but with contrasting wins.
While Praneeth hardly broke a sweat against Kevin Cordon, registering an easy 21-8, 21-9 win over the Guatemalan in less than half an hour, Kashyap came back from a one-game deficit to beat local favourite Tommy Sugiarto 16-21, 21-16, 21-16.
Praneeth will take on Li Shi Feng in the pre-quarterfinals.
However, it was the end of the road for Sameer Verma, who went down fighting to fourth seed Chinese Taipei shuttler Chou Tien Chen 21-10, 12-21, 14-21.
The women's doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 19-21, 21-18, 16-21 to the Indonesian duo of Fabriana Kusuma and Amalia Pratiwi in a hard-fought game that lasted a little more than an hour.