India's female shuttlers Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu started on a winning note on Wednesday at the ongoing China Open, defeating Sun Yu and Ksenia Polikarpova, respectively, in straight sets. However male shuttlers, Kidambi Srikanth Ajay Jayaram and HS Prannoy, were knocked out in the first round.
Saina, who has been seeded first in the China Open, has not been playing well in the circuit of late as the star player was knocked out early in, Japan and Denmark. However, Saina came up with a decent game against Sun Yu, who pushed the top seed to the hilt. The Chinese shuttler played some exciting badminton to keep Saina on her toes throughout the match.
Saina, who defeated Yu in straight sets with the score reading 22-20 and 21-18, is yet to hit her best form and needs to come up with a better performance in the subsequent rounds of the China Open with some top shuttlers including Carolina Marin, Liu Xuerui featuring in the superseries. Saina will meet Malayisa's Jing Yi Tee in the next round of the competition on Thursday.
Though Saina's form may have been a cause of concern, PV Sindhu, who has been on top of her game of late, dominated Polikarpova to win her first round match in straight sets, 21-14 and 21-9. Sindhu, who finished runners up last month in the Denmark Open, might be unseeded, but has all the ammunitions to win the title.
Sindhu has a tough task ahead of her in the second round as she is expected to meet Wang Shixian on Thursday. If the India shuttler wants to clinch the title, she needs to defeat players of such calibre.
However, the biggest surprise came in the men's singles for India with Kidambi Srikanth being knocked out of the competition in the first round by Hu Yun, who won the match in straight sets. Srikanth lost the game 12-21 and 18-21.
Another India shuttler, Jayaram, who was unlucky to draw Chen Long in the first round of the China Open, also lost in straight sets, 12-21 and 11-21. With both the male shuttlers out, HS Prannoy, who was India's biggest hope also failed to get past qualifier Guo Kai as the India shuttler lost the match in a tight affair with the score reading 14-21, 21-17, and 19-21.