After a long list of early exits, ace Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal made their comebacks in the international circuit with convincing wins to sail the second round of the Malaysia Masters badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (January 8).
Reigning world champion Sindhu, seeded sixth, took just 35 minutes to beat Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 21-15 21-13 in the first round but world championships bronze-medallist B Sai Praneeth and the seasoned Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the competition.
World number six Sindhu will face Aya Ohori of Japan in the second round on Thursday.
The other Indian in the fray, London Olympics bronze medallist Saina needed just 36 minutes to get the better of Belgium’s Lianne Tan.
The unseeded Saina brushed aside Tan 21-15 21-17 in just 36 minutes of action. This was the first time the two were facing each other.
Both Sindhu and Saina have struggled recently making a series of early exits with the former failing to defend the World Tour Finals crown last month.
Prannoy, ranked 26th in the world, took 34 minutes to send Tsuneyama packing with a 21-9 21-17 win in the first round match.
Prannoy, however, runs into world number one and top seed Japanese Kento Momota, who has been in red-hot form, in the second round on Thursday.
Momota defeated another Indian Parupalli Kashyap 21-17 21-16 in a 43-minute first round match.
Earlier, Praneeth made a first-round exit after going down tamely to Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke 11-21 15-21 while Srikanth lost his second round encounter to Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen 17-21 5-21 in only 30 minutes.
(With inputs from agencies)