Saina, Sindhu progress, Srikanth loses

Saina Nehwal began her Asia Championship campaign with a comfortable victory over Fitriani Fitriani in the first round.

Saina Nehwal took 21 minutes to finish her first-round match.   -  Sandeep Saxena (File Photo)

Saina Nehwal made a flutter-less start to her campaign at the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan with a smooth victory over her first-round opponent Fitriani Fitriani. Nehwal won 21-16, 21-17 to complete her win in 21 minutes. P. V. SIndhu defeated Indonesia's Maria Febe Kusumastut 21-10, 21-13 to progress to the second round.

Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth failed to cross the first round hurdle in the men’s singles event after being stunned by unseeded Korean shuttler Lee Dong Keun. The eighth seed conceded one-game advantage to go down 21-13, 12-21, 19-21 to his Korean rival in a contest that lasted an hour and 15 minutes.

Saina and Fitriani fought neck and neck in both games, before Saina finished both with a flourish in the end. In the first game, she gathered a useful lead at 5-2, but then lost three straight points, and thereafter, the game was evenly fought until Saina reeled off three straight points at 16-15, to position herself at 19-15.

The second game progressed similarly, before Saina, at 17-17, collected four straight games to complete the win.

In the second round, Saina will face either Lindaweni Fanetri, or Fanetri's first-round opponent Nitchaon Jindapol. SIndhu will face Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.

Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy, in the men’s doubles, lost to Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan 21-15, 21-13. Another Indian pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar were also ousted in the first round, by the Chinese pair of Or Ching Chun and Tang Chun Man 21-19, 21-17. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa were also defeated comfortably, by South Korea's Lee So Hee and Chang Ye Na 21-15, 21-11.

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