MACAU – Top seed Saina Nehwal staved off a tough challenge from little-known Indonesian Hanna Ramadini in a three-game women's singles opening round match to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament here Nov. 30.
It turned out to be a good day for Indians as Saina, P. Kashyap and B. Sai Praneeth and men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Summeth Reddy made it to the pre-quarterfinals even as it was curtains for Hong Kong Super Series finalist Sameer Verma at the $120,000 event.
Former World No. 1 Saina saw off World No. 44 Ramadini 21-23 21-14 21-18 in the opening match that lasted for over an hour. She will next take on another Indonesian Dinar Dyah Ayustine next.
On a comeback trail, Commonwealth Games champion P. Kashyap, who recovered from multiple injuries and then took a break after the Denmark Open to work on his fitness and game, defeated Chinese Taipei's Chun-Wei Chen 21-19 21-8. He will take on Chinese Taipei's Lin Yu Hsien in the next round.
Young Sameer, who had an exceptional campaign at Hong Kong last week, failed to break the defense of Muhammad Bayu Pangisthu of Indonesia and lost 18-21 13-21 to bow out of the tournament.
B. Sai Praneeth disposed off China's Sun Feixiang 21-12 21-15 to set up a match against fifth seed Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong.
Third seeded men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy saw off Hong Kong's Chan Alan Yun Lung and Li Kuen Hon 21-11 17-21 21-9. They will take on Singapore's Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Hendra Wijaya.
Kashyap, who is back on the circuit after over a month, led 5-0 early on and then entered the lemon break at 11-7.
However, Chun-Wei led a strong challenge and turned the tables with an eight-point burst. The Indian then slowly and steadily made his way back to reach 16-19 before sealing the opening game with five straight points.
In the second game, Kashyap was very dominant as he broke off as early as 5-5 and never looked back as Chun-Wei crumbled under pressure.
A day earlier, H.S. Prannoy retired midway in the opening round match after suffering a back injury.