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Saina survives first round scare at Thailand Open

June 06, 2012 19:29 IST

Top seed Saina Nehwal survived a scare from little-known local player Nichaon Jindapon before prevailing in three games, in the opening round of the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold in Bangkok on Wednesday.

The world No 5 Indian won 21-13, 16-21, 21-15 in 59 minutes, at the Cu Sport Complex.

She meets China's Li Han in the second round on Thursday.

Saina, who is billed as a medal prospect at the Olympics, started off well and broke away from 6-6, not allowing the Thai girl a chance to stage a recovery.

In the second game, the Indian opened up an 8-4 lead, but Jindapon clawed back to level at 11-11. From 17-16, the world No 53 Thai reeled off four straight points to take the game.

In the decider, both shuttlers were locked in a grim battle till 12-12 before Saina took control and won with much to spar in the end.

In the men's singles, young shuttler Sameer Verma created an upset, defeating 11th seeded Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-10, 22-20 to reach the second round.

Among other Indians, K Srikanth beat Marius Myhre 14-21, 21-12, 21-7; 12th seeded Sourabh Varma thrashed Sukamta Evert 21-11, 21-12, and Sai Praneeth B saw off Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo 15-21, 25-23, 21-17.

However, Anand Pawar failed to cross the first hurdle, losing 21-15, 18-21, 19-21 to ninth seed Brice Leverdez, while 14th seed RMV Gurusaidutt also crashed out, beaten 21-18, 14-21, 13-21 by Soon Huat Goh.

In the mixed doubles, Jian Guo Ong and Yin Loo Lim beat the Indian combo of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan 21-14, 21-13.

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