Saina Nehwal made a solid start to her campaign in the 2015 world badminton championship at Jakarta by an emphatic victory over Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi. With a first-round bye, Saina is already in the third round. For a place in the quarterfinals, Saina will have to beat Japan’s no.14 seed Sayaka Takahashi. In a largely triumphant day for India, men’s third seed Kidambi Srikanth and no.11 seed HS Prannoy also entered the third round. While Srikanth easily defeated Taiwan’s Hsu Jen Hao, Prannoy overcame second game jitters against Uganda’s Edwin Ekiring before closing out the match. The other good news for India came from women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who beat the Taiwanese combo of Hsieh Pei Chen and Wu Ti Jung. However, men’s tenth seed Parupalli Kashyap bowed out of the tournament with a 3-game second round loss against Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh. India also suffered defeats in men and women’s doubles matches as Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre/Sikki Reddy exited the competition. Other notable winners on Wednesday were; no.5 seed Lin Dan of China and unseeded Malaysian Lee Chong Wei. In a huge disappointment for the locals, no.15 seeded Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto was beaten by Hong Kong’s Wei Nan in a 69-minute marathon of a match. Most men and women’s seeded players kept themselves on course as the third day’s matches were concluded.
India’s Saina Nehwal had a first round bye as she played her first match in Jakarta against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi. The second-seeded Indian made a good start to open an early lead but Yi showed flashes of brilliance in reducing the gap. The closest the Hong Kong woman came; was in the first game, when she made it 11-9. But Saina picked up the momentum to reel off 6 consecutive points and took the first game 21-13. In the second game, Yi began with a 1-0 lead but her efforts were not enough to stop the Indian juggernaut after the score of 5-4 in Saina’s favor. From 9-6, Saina won 10 consecutive points and finally closed the 33-minute match with a well-deserved 21-13, 21-9 victory. In the third round, Saina will play against Japan’s no.14 seed Sayaka Takahashi, who defeated Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet 21-8, 21-17.
Kidambi Srikanth was brilliant in his match against Taiwan’s Hsu Jen Hao. The third-seeded Indian took just 36 minutes in defeating Hao 21-14, 21-15. The other Indian player, the eleventh seeded HS Prannoy, also entered the third round with a 21-14, 21-19 victory over Uganda’s Edwin Ekiring. After easily taking the first game, Prannoy had some problems in the second as the Ugandan had his chances of forcing the decider, but the Indian held his nerves to win the match in 39 minutes. In the men’s singles draw, India’s no.10 seed Parupalli Kashyap played a long 65-minute match with Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh but after taking the first game at 21-17, Kashyap couldn’t keep himself focused and lost 21-17, 13-21, 18-21. More disappointment came India’s way with the loss of men and women’s doubles pairs in their second round matches. In men’s doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar went down 16-21, 12-21 against Denmark’s no.10 seeds Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding while India’s women’s pair of Pradnya Gadre/Sikki Reddy lost 17-21, 19-21 against Japan’s no.14 seeds Shizuka Matsuo/Mami Naito. But India’s no.13 seeds Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa kept the tri-color flying with a fine 21-10, 21-18 victory over Taiwan’s Hsieh Pei Chen/ Wu Ti Jung.
Hong Kong’s Wei Nan broke many an Indonesian hearts with a 26-24, 8-21, 22-20 victory over no.15 seed Tommy Sugiarto. After losing the marathon first game, the Indonesian fought back brilliantly to take the second at 21-8 but Nan was back to his wily ways and won the match in a tight finish. In other matches, men’s singles top seed Chen Long and No.5 seed and 5-time world champion Lin Dan won their matches easily to enter the third round. Malaysian superstar Lee Chong Wei, however, was stretched to three games by Germany’s no.12 seed Marc Zweibler before winning at 21-14, 17.21, 21-8 in a little over an hour.
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