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Saina moves into Round II

Saina Nehwal

Odense: Returning to the court after a two-month break, Saina Nehwal made a rampaging start to her campaign at the Denmark Open, reaching the second round with a comfortable straight-game victory over Yeon Ju Bae of Korea, here, on Wednesday.

London Olympics bronze medallist, Saina prevailed over Bae 21-17, 21-17 in a 39-minute women’s singles match.

In the men’s singles, qualifier Anand Pawar put up a fight against fifth seed Sho Sasaki but it was the Japanese who had the last laugh as he saw off the Indian 14-21, 21-15, 21-11 in a 54-minute match.

Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu also fell in the first hurdle after losing 20-22, 19-21 to Indonesian pair of Angga Pratama and Ryan Agung Saputra in the men's doubles.

Saina, ranked fourth in the world, took time to get off the mark and was lagging 1-4 initially but she soon clawed back at 7-7. Bae fought tooth and nail and went neck and neck till 17-17 before the Indian reeled off four straight points to pocket the first game.

In the second game, Saina opened a 5-1 lead and kept her nose ahead to cruise to the second round.

Saina will take on Japan’s Minatsu Mitani in the second round, on Thursday.