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Malaysia Open: PV Sindhu progresses, Saina Nehwal bows out in the first round

PV Sindhu

Kuala Lumpur, June 29: Two stalwarts of Indian women's badminton, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal suffered contrasting fates at the Malaysia Open Super 750 tournament with the former progressing to the second round and the latter bowing out after losing her opener here on Wednesday (June 29).

If Sindhu, a former world champion, dished out a fine performance to outwit Thailand's world number 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-13, 21-17, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina went down fighting against American Iris Wang, ranked 33rd in the world, 11-21 17-21 in 37 minutes.

Sindhu, seeded seventh, set up a clash with Phittayaporn Chaiwan, a 21-year-old from Thailand, who held the number one ranking in world junior ranking and also was part of the bronze medal-winning team at the Uber Cup in Bangkok.

B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa, who will be leading India's charge at the Commonwealth Games, also couldn't get past world number 21 pairing of Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek of the Netherlands.

The Indian duo lost 15-21, 21-19, 17-21 after a 52-minute battle.

Earlier, HS Prannoy faced stiff resistance before prevailing against local hero Daren Liew as the Indian shuttler progressed to the men's singles second round of the Malaysia Open, on Tuesday (June 28).

A former top-10 player, Prannoy, who had reached the semifinals of Indonesia Open Super 1000 earlier this month, emerged a 21-14, 17-21, 21-18 winner in 62 minutes.

The 29-year-old from Kerala, ranked 21st currently, will face fourth seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei next at the Super 750 badminton tournament.

Saina Nehwal

Prannoy's win brought some cheers to the Indian camp after B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma made early exits.

While Praneeth went down to world number six Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, Sameer lost to world number 8 Jonatan Christie, also from Indonesia.

The 30-year-old Praneeth, currently ranked world number 19, lost 15-21, 21-19, 9-21 to Ginting in a 50-minute men's single match.

This was the eighth meeting between the players with the Indonesian leading the head-to-head record 4-3. They last played at the 2020 Asian Team championships where Ginting won the contest after Praneeth retired due to an injury.

Sameer, who is making a comeback from injury, fought for 49 minutes before losing 14-21, 21-13, 7-21 in another match.

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Story first published: Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 12:16 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 29, 2022