Swiss Open: Saina, Sindhu advance

India had a good day at Basel, with four of its men and two women -- Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu -- winning their first round matches.

B. Sai Praneeth overcame a second game slump to prevail over Switzerland’s Mathias Bonny 21-14 13-21 21-6.   -  Nagara Gopal

Two-time champion and top seed Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu reached the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s singles competition at the USD 120,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament here today.

Olympic bronze medallist Saina, who had clinched the Swiss Open in 2011 and 2012, saw off Germany’s Karin Schnaase 21-7, 21-15 in 33 minutes to set up a meeting with Czech’s Kristina Gavnholt at St Jakobshalle here.

Double World Championships bronze winner Sindhu, seeded sixth, sent Ireland’s Chole Magee packing 21-19, 21-10 in a 31-minute first round match. Sindhu face Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei in the pre-quarterfinals.

Sai Praneeth, who had stunned former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the opening round of the All England Championship last week, prevailed over Uzbekistan’s Artyom Savatyugin 21-7, 21-10 in a 21-minute match.

He had beaten Switzerland’s Mathias Bonny 21-14, 13-21, 21-6 in the opening round and will take on second seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei tomorrow. In the opening round, eleventh seed Ajay Jayaram thrashed Malaysia’s Jiann Shiarng Chiang 21-8, 21-17. He will face Japan’s Kenichi Tago next.

H.S. Prannoy, seeded 13th, also reached the second round after eking out a 21-19, 21-19 win over Finland’s Kalle Koljonen. The Indian will take on Germany’s Lars Schaenzler in the next round.

Young Sameer Verma also continued to impress with a hard-fought 21-17 24-22 win over Denmark’s Emil Holst. He will face the formidable Wang Zhengming of China in the next round.

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