Saina makes rollicking start

London: Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal started her campaign at the World Badminton Championships with a straight-set demolition of Chloe Magee of Ireland to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s singles here on Wednesday.

World number six Saina proved to be too good for the Irish shuttler, who failed to put up any fight and suffered a humiliating 10-21 7-21 loss in a 26-minute second round contest here.

V Diju also made a successful return to the court as he along with his partner Jwala Gutta thrashed Jien Guo Ong and Sook Chin Chong of Malaysia 21-11 21-15 in a 29-minute mixed doubles match at the Wembley arena.

The 21-year-old Saina was at her aggressive best as she digged in her repertoire and played varied strokes to completely bamboozle her opponent.

Playing after more than a month, Saina, who got a bye in the first round, took little time to get into the groove as she moved ahead with a 3-0 lead in the opening game and though Magee had caught up, the Indian surged ahead without much ado.

After pocketing the first game, Saina turned more aggressive in the second game and zoomed to 13-1 before slamming the door on her rival, conceding just six more points.

“It was a good victory to start with. I was playing after a long time and she had beaten the world no. 31 Adrianti Firdasari, so it is quite satisfying to start on a positive note here,” Saina said.

Diju, who had last played in the Swiss Open in March, made a resounding return to international badminton after undergoing a back surgery.

The 30-year-old shuttler combined well with Jwala and didn’t give much chance to the rivals.

The 16th seeded Indians, who got a bye in the opening round, had their nose ahead in the first game as from 9-7, they simply kept widening the gap by moving in giant strides.

The second game was a tooth and nail battle till 12-12 before the Indians grabbed four straight points to move ahead and register a place in the pre-quarterfinals. “I am very happy with the game. The court was a bit slow so we had to hit lot many smashes in each rallies,” said Diju.”

“I am playing after a long time and I am happy with the way my body is responding.”

Last night, P Kashyap also made a winning start, defeating Germany’s Domke Dieter in a hard-fought three-game affair to enter the second round of the men’s singles here.

The Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Kashyap defeated Dieter 21-13 23-25 21-11 in a match that lasted close to an hour.

He will face seventh seed Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam in the second round.

The world number 28 Indian, sent down as many as 10 smash winners to get an upperhand in the opening game.

Dieter came back in the second game, keeping pace with Kashyap all through before managing to sneak ahead in the closing stages.

But the recovery was short-lived as Kashyap once again relied on his smashes to outwit his spirited rival in the deciding third game. Kashyap also had better control of the proceedings, clinching 10 consecutive points at one stage of the game. (PTI)

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