Kuching (Malaysia), April 5 (IANS) Indian star shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal suffered setbacks in the opening round of the Malaysia Open Superseries Premier, while Ajay Jayaram moved into the men’s singles second round here on Wednesday.
Also exiting the tournament were men’s singles shuttler B. Sai Praneeth, the men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy and the mixed doubles pair of Sumeeth and N. Sikki Reddy.
India had high hopes from sixth seed and 2016 Olympic silver medallist Sindhu. The 21-year-old, who won the India Open on Sunday, was toppled by world No.13 Chen Yufei of China 21-18, 19-21, 17-21 in an hour and eight minutes.
Sindhu’s veteran compatriot, Saina fell to in-form Japanese world No.4 Akane Yamaguchi, who won 19-21, 21-13, 21-15 in 56 minutes at the Perpaduan Stadium.
Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain defeated Hong Kong’s Yin Yip Pui 21-16, 21-11 to advance to the second round.
The men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth also crashed out of the competition, losing to Chinese Taipei’s Liao Kuan Hao and Lu Chia Pin 21-18, 18-21, 17-21.
World No.19 Jayaram, however, crossed the first-round barrier, brushing aside Chinese Qiao Bin 21-11, 21-8 in 31 minutes.
Praneeth gave Chinese legend Lin Dan a run for his money, but the two-time Olympic champion managed to eke out an 18-21, 21-19, 21-18 win in an hour and 11 minutes.
The mixed doubles pair of Sumeeth and Sikki fought hard before losing to Dane pair of Kim Astrup and Line Kjaersfeldt 19-21, 21-19, 21-23 in 55 minutes.