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BWF World Championship: Saina Nehwal makes winning start

Saina, who finished second in the 2015 World Championship, battled valiantly in the opening game.

SNS |

In her first-round match on Tuesday in the women’s singles division of the ongoing BWF World Championships 2022, London Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal defeated Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong in straight games.

Saina, who finished second in the 2015 World Championship, battled valiantly in the opening game. She was behind 4-7 at one point but recovered back to lead 10-11 at the half. Following that, there was a close match that the Hyderabadi shuttler won 21-19.

The two-time world championship medalist Nehwal was clinical in the second game, winning four straight points to take the victory and the match 21-9. She won the game 21-19, 21-9 in just 38 minutes, giving her four victories out of five matches.

As a result of Nozomi Okuhara of Japan’s withdrawal from the competition, Saina will now compete in the third round. The 32-year-old shuttler will compete against the winner of the second-round match between Yvonne Li of Germany and Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan, the 12th seed.

Malavika Bansod was eliminated during her first-round match at the World Championships, leaving Saina as the lone Indian shuttler still competing. Due to an injury, the 2019 champion PV Sindhu was unable to participate in the competition.

In their opening round match in the women’s doubles division earlier in the day, Treesa Jolly and Pullela Gayatri defeated the Malaysian team of Low Yeen Yuan and Valeree Siow 21-11, 21-13.

(Inputs from IANS)