China Open: Sindhu enters pre-quarters, Saina loses

The third-seeded Indian defeated World No. 39 Saena Kawakami of Japan 21-15, 21-13 in the opening round at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium.

India's P.V. Sindhu progressed to the pre-quarterfinals of the China Open World Tour Super 1000 tournament.   -  AFP

Olympic and World Championship silver-medallist P.V. Sindhu progressed to the pre-quarterfinals but Saina Nehwal bowed out after a narrow loss at the USD one million China Open Super Series World Tour Super 1000 tournament here.

The third-seeded Indian, who had clinched the China Open title in 2016, defeated World No. 39 Saena Kawakami of Japan 21-15, 21-13 in the opening round at the Olympic Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium.

The match started out as a close contest with Sindhu and Saena before the Indian broke off to grab a 13-7 lead at one stage. She kept dominating the rallies and pocketed the opening game without much trouble.

Read: Sindhu battles fatigue with China Open title in sight

In the second game, Sindhu zoomed to a 6-0 lead but Saena managed to make it 8-10 before the Indian entered the interval with a slender 11-9 lead.

After the break, Sindhu jumped to 15-11 before grabbing eight match points at 20-12 and sealed it comfortably.

However, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Saina, who was the first Indian to win the China title in 2014, lost 22-20, 8-21, 14-21 to Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in a 48-minute opener.

Men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, the national champions, defeated Chinese Taipei’s Liao Min Chun and Su Ching Heng 13-21, 21-13, 21-12 in 39 minutes to enter the second round.