Paris: Leading Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu progressed to the second round of women’s singles with contrasting wins while it was dead end for comeback pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who lost not only their women's doubles clash but also their respective mixed doubles matches at the French Open Super Series here Wednesday.
The 18-year-old Sindhu accounted for South Korea’s Ji Hyun Sung as she thrashed the sixth seed 21-8, 21-12 in less than half an hour at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
The World No.10 Indian showed suberb prowess to beat Ji and has taken a 3-0 lead in career meetings. The South Korean has been in excellent form lately, having beaten Saina and reached the final of the Denmark Open Super Series Premier last week.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Saina Nehwal had to overcome Thailand’s Nichaon Jindapon in a tough 52-minute battle to progress to the pre-quarters. The World No.4 won the tie 12-21, 21-16, 21-13 to take a 2-0 lead in career meets.
In the next round, the Olympic bronze medallist faces a tricky challenge in the face of Ji’s compatriot, Yeon Ju Bae. Though the Hyderabadi has a 5-3 head-to-head against Yeon, it was the South Korean who dashed Saina’s hopes at the World Championships in August.
In another women’s singles clash, Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk beat Nagpur girl Arundhati Pantawane 21-17, 16-21, 21-14 in 45 minutes in the first round.
Earlier in the day, Indonesians Gebby Ristiyani Imawan and Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah took care of India’s most successful women’s doubles combine Jwala and Ashwini. The duo were making a comeback, playing their first match together since the London Games, and lost 18-21, 21-13, 17-21 in 50 minutes in the first round.
That was not the end of bad news for the two as they lost their mixed doubles first rounds too.
Scottish pair of Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier beat Tarun Kona and Ashwini 21-17, 19-21, 21-12 in 52 minutes while Dutch combine Jacco Arends and Selena Piek took care of Jwala and Manu Attri 21-13, 21-16 in only 24 minutes.
However, it was a good day for Indian men’s singles shuttlers as Anand Pawar and K. Srikanth scored victories in their first round clashes.
While Mumbai’s Pawar beat French Thomas Rouxel 21-9, 24-22 in 37 minutes, Srikanth scored an upset win over Hong Kong’s World No.12 Wing Ki Wong. The Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold winner took the match 21-14, 17-21, 21-10 in 47 minutes to level his head-to-head to 1-all.
In the second round, Srikanth will take on old nemesis, sixth seed Boonsak Ponsana, whom the Indian beat in the final of Thailand Open to take the title.
Later in the day, B. Sai Praneeth retired from his tie against Danish Hans-Kristian Vittinghus. Sai retired after losing the first game 18-21 in 29 minutes.