Saina Nehwal Starts Title Defense In Style, Storms Into Second Round

| May 28 , 2015 , 12:44 IST
[caption id="attachment_8738" align="aligncenter" width="700"]File Photo File Photo[/caption] Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth won their first round matches in style at the Star Australian Open Super series on Wednesday. While World No.1 Saina comfortably beat 67th-ranked Cheah Lyddia Yi Yu of Malaysia, World No.4 Srikanth pipped Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in a thrilling decider. The women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, too, made a winning start at the USD 750,000 event. Among the Indians who made a first round exit were P V Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and R M V Gurusaidutt, who took a game off World No.1 Chen Long. Defending champion Saina, playing her opener late in the day, breezed past Cheah 21-12, 21-10 to enter the last 16 of the competition. The second seed next plays Sun Yu of China. World No.14 Sindhu, however, suffered a 21-18, 15-21, 23-25 loss against eighth seed Wang Yihan. Srikanth was the lone winner in the men's singles, recovering to beat Vittinghus 14-21, 21-8, 22-20 in a match lasting 53 minutes. He plays China's Tian Houwei on Thursday. Gurusaidutt raised eyebrows by taking the first game from Long before the Chinese fought back to complete a 15-21, 21-9, 21-17 victory. In the women's doubles, Jwala and Ashwini dispatched the Dutch pairing of Samantha Barning and Iris Tabeling 21-13, 21-13. Earlier, Ashwini lost in the mixed doubles alongside Pranav Jerry Chopra.