Indian shuttlers had a disappointing outing in the French Open on Wednesday but Saina Nehwal made sure Day 2 ended on a positive note for the country by entering the second round in Paris.
Saina, who had been knocked out in the opening round of the Denmark Open earlier this month, put behind last week’s disappointment and defeated Ngan Yi Cheung of Hong Kong 23-21, 21-17 in the women’s singles first round.
World No. 9 Saina will now join PV Sindhu in the second round of the BWF Super 750 tournament. Sindhu had defeated Canada’s Michelle Li to move forward in the tournament on Tuesday. Sindhu defeated Li in straight games 21-15, 21-13.
Sindhu was relentless in the first game and she ended up winning it in just 20 minutes. The story of the match was the same in the second game, and Sindhu ensured there were no hiccups as she easily brushed off the Canadian challenge.
Earlier in the day, Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and Sameer Verma made an early exit from the competition.
Srikanth lost in the first round against Tien Chen Chou of Taiwan. Srikanth started off on a positive note by taking the first game 21-15 but couldn’t keep the momentum going and lost the next two 7-21, 14-21 to get knocked out.
Just before Srikanth’s match, P Kashyap took on Tien Chen Chou of Hong Kong and lost in straight games – 11-21, 9-21. Sameer Verma also lost his contest against Kenta Nishimoto of Japan. Verma went down 22-20, 18-21, 18-21 in his first-round match.
Subhankar Dey is the only player from India left in the men’s singles competition. Dey had caused a huge upset on Day 1 when he beat Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia to advance to the second round.
The world number 42 Indian rallied to beat his world number 17 opponent 15-21 21-14 21-17 in a one hour 18 minutes first-round match in the BWF Super 750 tournament.