Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap, P V Sindhu reach 2nd round in Korea Open Premier Super Series
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Top Indian shuttlers, including Saina Nehwal, started the new year on a winning note, reaching the second round of the season-opening Korea Open Premier Super Series here today.
Olympic bronze-medallist Saina, seeded third, was little rusty to start with as she conceded the first game but got her act together in time to notch up a 17-21 21-9 21-19 win over Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the women's singles opening round.
The world number three will now clash with Singapore's Mingtian Fu. Fu beat Bulgaria's Petya Nedelcheva in another match at the SK Handball Stadium. Saina has a 3-0 record against the Singaporean.
World number 14 Parupalli Kashyap disposed off Commonwealth silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph of England 21-19 21-16 in his 40-minute men's singles opener.
The Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist has a tough task at hand in the next round as he will meet seventh seed Yun Hu of Hong Kong. The duo has clashed only once so far, during the Badminton Asia Championships in 2010, and Yun beat Kashyap in three games then.
Rising shuttler P V Sindhu also reached the second round after avenging her defeat to Lindaweni Fanetri, against whom she lost in the finals of the Syed Modi Grand Prix gold in Lucknow less than a month ago.
The world number 19 from Hyderabad prevailed 22-20 21-16 over the Indonesian in a 42-minute match.
The 17-year-old Sindhu will next take on Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who was the surprise winner after Olympic Champion Li Xuerui of China retired midway through the opening game of the first-round match.
With top seed Li out of the tournament, Saina is expected to meet seventh seed Tanjiao Jiang of China in the semifinals now.
Earlier in the match, Sapsiree turned the heat on Saina as she caught the Indian at the nets and also matched her with smashes.