SYDNEY:Indian ace Saina Nehwal received a huge boost ahead of the Rio Olympics as she…
Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and two-time World Championship bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu won their matches, on an otherwise dismal day for the Indian shuttlers on Thursday.
Saina defeated Lohayanny Vincente of Brazil 21-17, 21-17 in 40 minutes in the first-round match of Group G.
Ninth seed Sindhu hammered Laura Sarosi of Hungary 21-8, 21-9 in a Group-M match which lasted 27 minutes. She will now play Glasgow Commonwealth Games champion Li Michelle of Canada on August 14 to complete the preliminary group engagements.
Sindhu hardly broke any sweat against her World No. 64 rival, taking just 13 and 14 minutes to wrap up the first and second games.
Earlier, the Indian combination of G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa was off to a disappointing start in the women’s doubles event, losing 21-15, 21-10 to the World No. 1 Japanese pair of Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsumoto in a 36-minute contest in Group A.
The Indians will next be up against the World No. 11 Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in their second group clash on Friday.
In men’s doubles, Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy suffered a 21-18, 21-13 loss against the World No. 2 Indonesian combine of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
Manu and Sumeeth fought hard in the opening game before running out of steam. Jwala and Ashwini opened up a 4-1 lead, but blew it away after the Japanese duo came up with deep returns which the Indians failed to judge correctly.
Jwala and Ashwini, who were struggling to coordinate, trailed 8-11 at the first lemon break and were never able to bridge the gap after that.
The Japanese pair produced a couple of brilliant winners — a backhand flick down the line by Matsumoto particularly impressive — to clinch the opening game in 19 minutes.
The second followed a similar script as Takahashi and Matsumoto raced to a 6-3 lead. The top seeds capitalised on Jwala and Ashwini’s lack of rhythm, hitting winners at will.
The results: Women: Singles: Group G: Saina Nehwal bt Lohayanny Vincente (Bra) 21-17, 21-17.
Group M: P.V. Sindhu bt Laura Sarosi (Hun) 21-8, 21-9.
Doubles: Group A: Ayaka Takahashi & Misaki Matsumoto (Jpn) bt G. Jwala & Ashwini Ponnappa 21-15, 21-10.
Men: Doubles: Group D: Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Manu Attri & B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-18, 21-13.