Indonesia Masters: Saina Nehwal survives scare

JAKARTA, JAN 23: India's Saina Nehwal struggled her way into the second round but compatriots B Sai Praneeth and Subhankar Dey failed to cross the opening hurdle at the $350,000 Indonesia Masters here on Wednesday.

Eighth seeded Saina, who had reached the semifinals last week at the Malaysia Masters, recovered from a first-game loss to secure a 7-21, 21-16, 21-11 win over local hope Dinar Dyah Ayustine, ranked 50th. It was Saina's third win over Ayustine.

The 28-year-old from Hyderabad will next face another Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani, against whom she has a 4-0 head-to-head record.

National champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also dished out a fighting game to notch up a 14-21, 21-19, 21-15 win over Denmark's Mads Pieler Kolding and Niclas Nohr in the men's doubles.

In the men's singles, 2017 Singapore Open champion Praneeth was sent packing 12-21, 16-21 by Olympic champion Chen Long of China in 40 minutes, while Subhankar, who had won his maiden title at SaarLorLux Open in Germany last year, fought hard before going down 14-21, 21-19, 15-21 against former World champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out of the competition, losing 14-21, 14-21 to Thailand's Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in the women's doubles opener.  


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