Saina Nehwal in cruise control, big win for Ashwini-Satwik

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New Delhi: Top shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth notched up comfortable victories to make an impressive start at the BWF World Championship in Nanjing, China, on August 2.
Saina, who had a silver and a bronze in earlier editions of the championship, defeated Turkey’s Aliye Demirbag 21-17, 21-8 in the second round to set up a pre-quarterfinal clash with 2013 champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand.
Saina had received a bye in the first round.
Fifth seed Srikanth dispatched Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen 21-15, 21-16 in his campaign opener to join compatriots H.S. Prannoy, Sameer Verma and B. Sai Praneeth, who received a walkover after his opponent, Korea’s Son Wan Ho, pulled out in the second round. Srikanth faces Spain’s Pablo Abian next, while Praneeth will meet another Spaniard, Luís Enrique Penalver.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa staved off a challenge from 15th seed German pair of Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich, registering a 10-21, 21-17, 21-18 win to enter the pre-quarterfinals.
Satwik and Ashwini will face seventh seed Malaysian pair of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.
However, Russian Open silver medalists Rohan Kapoor and Kuhoo Garg went down 12-21, 12-21 against sixth seed husband-wife English combination of Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock in another mixed doubles second round match. The men’s doubles pair of Arjun M.R. and Ramchandran Shlok fell in their opening hurdle, losing 14-21, 15-21 to Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi. The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy lost 16-21, 4-21 to 12th seeds Indonesia’s Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.
Tarun Kona and Saurabh Sharma also fell in the men’s doubles first round, losing 20-22, 21-18, 17-21 to Hong Kong’s Or Chin Chung and Tang Chun Man.
Momota cruises
Japan’s Kento Momota made a blistering start to his campaign, swatting aside Ukraine’s Artem Pochtarov 21-13, 21-12, Momota said: “I don’t take the attention at home and abroad as pressure, but instead motivation.”
“The first match was an easy win. I feel very good now and hope I can win all the matches. I want to win,” she told Xinhua news agency.
Momota plays Luka Wraber, the 136th-ranked Austrian, on Wednesday.
In the women’s draw, world number one Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan eased through in her opener to underline her status as the woman to beat.
The top seed was never really in trouble against Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen of Australia, winning 21-10, 21-16 to reach the third round.
Similarly untroubled were seventh seed Carolina Marin of Spain, beating Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-9, 21-8.
Ratchanok Intanon survived a major scare as the fourth seed battled back from the brink of a shock early exit.
Ratchanok looked set to go out to the unseeded Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark, before recovering her poise to gleefully reach round three, winning 16-21, 22-20, 21-10.

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