Saina, Srikanth, Kashyap cross first hurdles at Malaysia Masters

It was a fine day for Indian shuttlers at the Malaysia Masters as Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap advanced to the second round.

Saina Nehwal defeated Joy Xuan Deng 14-21 21-18 21-18 in the first round of the Malaysian Masters. (File Photo)   -  PTI

Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth entered the second round of the Malaysia Masters to mark a fine day for Indian shuttlers at the tournament in Kuala Lampur on Wednesday.

Seventh seed Saina had to toil hard and came back from a game down to quell the challenge of Hong Kong’s Joy Xuan Deng 14-21 21-18 21-18 in a women’s singles first round encounter that lasted one hour and five minutes. Saina, the only Indian in women’s singles event, will next play another unseeded shuttler from Hong Kong, Pui Yin Yip in the second round.

Kashyap's match against Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke followed a similar script. He had to dig deep to get the better of his opponent who took the first game 19-21. Kashyap fought back to win 19-21 21-19 21-10 in his men’s singles first round match.

Kidambi Srikanth, seeded seventh, didn't have it as hard as he took just 30 minutes to beat Angus Ka Long NG of Hong Kong 21-17 21-11 in the first round.

Kashyap has a tough second round encounter against sixth seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia and Srikanth will be up against Hong Kong's Vincent Wong Wing Ki.

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Doubles

Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy overcame their first hurdle with a hard-fought 21-16 22-20 win over Hong Kong’s Tsz Yau NG and Sin Ying Yuen.

The Indian duo will play Indonesian combine of Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani and Rizki Amelia Pradipta in the next round.

However, it was curtains for Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy as they lost 19-21 17-21 against Netherlands’ Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek.

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