Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu advance in Malaysia Open

Kuala Lumpur: Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu got off to winning starts in their season, notching up straight-game victories in their respective opening round women`s singles matches in the USD 500,000 Malaysia Super Series Premier here today.

While eighth seeded Saina took just 36 minutes to get the better of Indonesia`s Hera Desi 21-10 21-16 in their first ever meeting, Sindhu fought hard before prevailing 21-17 21-18 over her old foe Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia in a 43-minute contest.

Saina next face Yao Xue of China, while world number 11 Sindhu take on sixth seed Yeon Ju Bae of Korea in the second round at the Putra Stadium here.

In the men`s singles, however, Anand Pawar and R M V Gurusaidutt crashed out of the event after suffering contrasting defeats in their first round matches.

World number eight Saina hardly broke a sweat today against her Indonesian opponent. The girl from Hyderabad simply dominated the proceedings, winning as many as 42 points as compared to just 26 by Hera.

Having opened up a 2-0 lead in the first game, Saina kept on extending it to seal it off 21-10.

In the second game, Hera gave Saina some fight. It was a close battle till 6-6 before the Indian won four successive points to surge ahead and eventually had it easy in the end.

Sindhu, on the other hand, fought a neck-and-neck battle till 15-15 in the opening game before she could bag three points on the trot to move ahead. Thereafter, however, there was no looking back for her.

The second game was also a hard fought one and the 18-year-old World Championship bronze-medallist Indian came from behind to overcome her rival.

Fanetri first opened up a 9-5 lead but Sindhu managed to win four points on the trot to catch up her rival at 9-9. The Indian then surged ahead with a 13-10 lead but yet again Fanetri made it 13-13.

It went on like that till 16-16 before the Indian raised her game when it mattered the most to enter the next round of the tournament.

It was, however, a disappointing day for India in the men`s singles event.

Anand Pawar failed to put up a fight against Zhengming Wang of China and went down 12-21 11-21 in 33 minutes.

In contrast, Gurusaidutt showed a lot of fighting spirit before losing 18-21 21-11 21-23 to Eric Pang of the Netherlands.