Malaysia Masters: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma, HS Prannoy progress
HS Prannoy stunned world number 10 Kanta Tsuneyama while ace Indian women shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal also sailed into the second round of the Malaysia Masters on Wednesday. In another upset win, Sameer Verma beat World No. 13 Kantaphon Wangcharoen in straight games to progress.
Prannoy, ranked 26th in the world, took 34 minutes to send Tsuneyama packing with a 21-9 21-17 win in the first round match.
Prannoy, however, runs into world number one and top seed Japanese Kento Momota, who has been in red-hot form, in the second round on Thursday.
Kashyap, Sai Praneeth, Srikanth bow out
Momota defeated another Indian Parupalli Kashyap 21-17 21-16 in a 43-minute first round match.
World Championships bronze-medallist B Sai Praneeth and the seasoned Kidambi Srikanth, though, bowed out of the men’s singles events.
Reigning world champion Sindhu, seeded sixth, took just 35 minutes to beat Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 21-15 21-13 in the women’s singles first round that lasted 35 minutes.
World number six Sindhu will face Aya Ohori of Japan in the second round on Thursday.
The other Indian in the fray, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina needed just 36 minutes to get the better of Belgium’s Lianne Tan.
The unseeded Saina brushed aside Tan 21-15 21-17 in their first meeting against each other.
Both Sindhu and Saina have struggled recently, making a series of early exits with the former failing to defend the World Tour Finals crown last month.
Earlier, Praneeth made a first round exit after going down tamely to Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke 11-21 15-21 while Srikanth lost to Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen 17-21 5-21 in only 30 minutes.