Indian badminton superstar Saina Nehwal defeated Beiwen Zhang of the United States to advance to the second round of the China Open World Superseries Premier in Fuzhou on Wednesday. The Hyderabad-based shuttler defeated Zhang 21-12, 21-13 in a match which only lasted for around 30 minutes. In both the games, Saina displayed her class, temperament and composure to overpower her opponent in straight sets.
In the men’s singles category, Sourabh Verma bowed out of the prestigious tournament after going down to Brice Leverdez of France. In a marathon match which was tightly contested and lasted around 55 minutes, the Frenchman beat past Verma 21-14, 15-21, 21-11.
In the women’s doubles category, it was the end of the road for India. Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy lost their first match to South Korea’s Ha Na Baek and Chae Yoo Jung 14-21, 15-21. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also crashed out of the meet. They lost to Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan of China 13-21, 13-21 in the men’s doubles match.
India had some good news in the men’s singles event though as HS Prannoy, the recently crowned National champion advanced through to the second round after surviving a scare. It took Prannoy one and a half hours to get past South Korean Lee Dong Keun. He eventually triumphed with a final scoreline of 18-21, 21-16, 21-19.
The Indians will now be hoping to make a long dent in the tournament right in the territory of the Chinese. There wouldn’t be a bigger statement of the Indians’ plans to take over the world of badminton than an Indian winning the China Open.
– With inputs from IANS