Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy made positive starts to their campaign, progressing to the second round of USD 400,000 Hong Kong Super Series today.
India's national champion Saina defeated Denmark's Mette Poulsen 21-19, 23-21 in a pulsating first round match.
Both the players showed tremendous fighting spirit but it was Saina's experience that came to the fore as she overturned deficits in both the games to emerge victorios in a 46-minute clash.
Sindhu, the second seed, defeated Hong Kong's Leung Yuet Yee 21-18 21-10 to set up a clash with either Japan’s Aya Ohori or Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya in the next round.
Prannoy survived a scare to defeat Hong Kong’s Hu Yun 19-21 21-17 21-15. He will will face Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai, who had defeated the Indian in the semifinals of Indonesia Open Super Series Premier.
However, it was heartbreak for Parupalli Kashyap as the Indian lost to Korea's D.K. Lee 21-15, 9-21, 20-22. After winning the first game, Kashyap had no answers to Lee's onslaught and surrendered the second game in no time. The decider was, however, a closely contested affair with neither players giving room to the other but it was Lee who held his nerve to clinch a thriller.
The World No. 10 Indian will face Japan's Kazumasa Sakai, who had defeated the Indian in the semifinals of Indonesia Open Super Series Premier.
Sourabh Verma, meanwhile, failed to put up a fight against Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto, losing 15-21 8-21 to bow out of the competition. B. Sai Praneeth also lost his first round match against second seeded Son Wan Ho of Korea 8-21, 16-21.
Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out. They played their hearts out before going down 11-21 21-19 19 -21 against the Chinese combo of Huang Dongping and Li Wenmei in a hard-fought contest.
The mixed doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy went down fighting to the pair of Khim Wah Lim of Malaysia and Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea 17-21, 17-21 in the opening round.
(With inputs from PTI)