Olympic medallists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal fought off strong challenge from their opponents before winning their respective opening matches, but it was curtains for Lakshya Sen and B Sai Praneeth in Badminton Asia Championships in Manila on Wednesday.
Two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu was made to toil hard by Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po as the fourth seeded Indian came back from a game down to win 18-21 27-25 21-9 in a marathon women’s singles opening round match.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who has been on a comeback trail after severe injury issues, also had to fight hard for a 21-15 17-21 21-13 win over Sim Yujin of South Korea.
Sindhu will next play Singapore’s Yue Yann Jaslyn Hooi, Saina will be up against China’s Zhi Yi Wang.
The other remaining Indian in the women’s singles, Malvika Bansod too squandered a game lead before going down 9-21 21-17 26-24 against Yeo Jia Min of Singapore in another hard-fought tie.
It turned out to be a disappointing outing for world championships bronze medal winner Sen, who was stunned by the unseeded Li Shi Feng of China.
The fifth seeded Indian lost 21-12 10-21 19-21 in his opening round men’s singles tie that lasted 56 minutes.
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