Saina Nehwal has reached the second round of the Hong Kong Open, defeating Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in a tight three-game affair 12-21, 21-19, 21-17 which lasted for 55 minutes on Wednesday. Male shuttlers, Sameer Verma and HS Prannoy also emerged victorious in their respective opening round matches.
Saina did not look in good form in the opening game, where she was outplayed by her opponent. The Thai player, who had defeated Saina in the first round of the China Open as well, seems to have found huge confidence against her, as she clinched the first game 21-12.
The second game started on a tight note, with Saina keen to take the match to a decider. From 5-5, Porntip ran into a four-point lead at 9-5, with some quality shuttle play, but Saina clawed back to 9-9 with some strong returns.
The match was turning out to be interesting, as Saina was looking in better form, compared to the first game. With Saina finally playing some good shots all around the court, Porntip was in trouble, as the former world number one took a lead of 18-14. Porntip was not giving up too easily, and she clawed back to make it 19-19, but two straight points for Saina helped her clinch the game.
Saina took over the momentum into the deciding game, and produced some quality shots. She looked confident, and Porntip was not able to deal with Saina. With 13-7 lead, the match was Saina's to be taken, and despite being tested, clinched the final game 21-17.
Male shuttler Sameer Verma has registered a quality win in his match against Japan's Takuma Ueda. The Indian shuttler looked confident from the first game, which was extremely tight as Verma won 22-20 after some tight rallies between the two players. The second game was no different as Verma played some positive badminton to win the match 22-20, 21-18 to oust Ueda.
Another male shuttler, Prannoy, also looked in good touch as he edged past his Chinese opponent Qiao Bin in straight games 21-16, 21-18. Despite a close match, it was Prannoy, who held his nerves and did not lose concentration to reach the second round of the Hong Kong Open.
In the men's doubles competition, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost to South Korean pair of Solgyu Choi, Ko Sung Hyun in two games with the score reading 15-21, 8-21. The Indian pair was dominated by Choi and Hyun.