Saina Nehwal survived a scare in the opening round of the Macau Open 2016, defeating Hanna Ramadini in a tight three-game affair, 21-23, 21-14, 21-18. Male shuttlers such as Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth also cruised into the next round of the competition with their respective victories, while the Hong Kong Open finalist Sameer Verma suffered a second round exit on Wednesday.
With PV Sindhu deciding to skip the Macau Open and prepare for the World Super Series Finals, there is some sort of pressure on Saina to perform in the competition and win the title as well. Saina was below par in her first game against Ramadini, losing 21-23.
Saina understood the need of playing much better to stay alive in the competition, and the former world number one came up with an improved performance in the second game. With some good shots from the baseline and at the net, Saina clinched the game 21-14 to take the match to a decider.
The third game was tighter with Ramadini also playing some good badminton and she was not giving up too easily in the final game. Saina brought all her experience into play to clinch the final game 21-18.
Though Saina might not have found her range, there was no problem for Kashyap, who looked in form against Chun Wei Chen 21-19, 21-8 to book his third round berth. The Indian star, who has been out of action for a while, will hope to go all the way in the year-end competition.
Praneeth also did not have much trouble in progressing into the next round as he defeated Sun Feixiang 21-12, 21-15. The mixed doubles team comprising Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy have also reached the next round.
However, Verma was the lone Indian to be knocked out of the Macau Open on Wednesday as he suffered defeat against Muhammad Bayu Pangisthu in straight games 18-21, 13-21.