Sydney : Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal fought her way back from a game down to win her opening round match, while compatriot P.V Sindhu crushed her opponent to storm into the second round of the US$ 750,000 Star Australian Super Series on Wednesday.
Saina will now take on compatriot P C Thulasi, who hardly had to break a sweat to overcome USA’s Jamie Subandhi 21-16, 21-18 in women’s singles first round match.
World No. 9 Saina, seeded sixth in the tournament, lost the first game, but rallied in a fine fashion to beat her unseeded Chinese rival Sun Yu 22-24, 21-17, 21-10 in her opening round match that lasted an hour and 15 minutes.
The first round was a neck-and-neck battle and till 22-22 it could have been anyone’s game, but it was the Chinese who won two crucial points to snatch it 24-22 in the end.
In the second game, the Indian started off brilliantly, surging ahead with a 8-0 lead before the Chinese fought back and managed to catch her at 13-13. It was a tense battle for some time to follow, but eventually Saina managed to have the last laugh.
The decider turned out to be a cake walk for India’s Olympic bronze medallist shuttler.
Eighth seeded Sindhu, meanwhile, had an easy outing against her unseeded Japanese opponent Aya Ohori, who she defeated 21-16 21-14 in just 31 minutes to set up a second round clash with Nichaon Jindapon of Thailand.
It was a mixed results for the Indians in the men’s singles first round, as World no. 77 B Sai Praneeth brushed aside local shuttler Hoe Keat Oon 21-7 21-11, but HS Pranoy crashed out of the tournament after losing 14-21-18-21 to eighth seeded German Marc Zwiebler.