India’s Olympic bronze medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal advanced to the women’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the USD 170,000 Barcelona Spain Masters with a 21-16 21-14 win over Germany’s Yvonne Li here on Wednesday.
Sania took just 35 minutes to beat her opponent in the first round match.
In men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth and Ajay Jayaram sailed into the pre-quarterfinals with easy wins over their respective opponents.
While Jayaram beat Christo Popov of France 21-14 21-12 in a 30 minute first round match, third seeded Srikanth defeated compatriot Subhankar Dey 23-21 21-18 in a hard-fought 41-minute contest.
Srikanth and Jayaram run into each other in the pre-quarterfinals on Thursday.
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki N. Reddy also won their mixed doubles first round match against Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje 10-21 21-16 21-17.
However, H. S. Prannoy lost to Malaysian Daren Liew 18-21 15-21 to bow out of the tournament.
P Kashyap also bowed out of the tournament after retiring midway in the third game against Ygor Coelho of Brazil. The Indian was training 12-14 then after two rivals have won a game each.
Saina is looking to keep her Tokyo Olympic hopes alive after an inconsistent outing in 2019 and she also didn’t enjoy a good start this year. She has crossed the first round in only one of the three events in 2020.