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Saina, Kashyap advance

Calcutta: Saina Nehwal and defending champion Parupalli Kashyap kicked off their campaign in the Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold with relative ease as most seeds had an easy outing on the opening day, in Lucknow, on Wednesday.

London Olympics bronze medallist, Saina, reached the second round with a 21-7, 21-9 thrashing of Matilda Petersen of Sweden in just 28 minutes to set up a pre-quarter final clash with Russian Natalia Perminova.

Second seed and last edition’s runners-up, PV Sindhu, however, had to toil before getting across Malaysia’s Li Lian Yang 21-19, 24-22 to set up a clash with Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland.

On the other hand, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Kashyap, notched up a 21-14, 21-16 victory over compatriot Anup Sridhar and then registered a 21-10, 21-12 win over Malaysia’s Yee Han Chong in his second match of the day to reach the third round.

He will face 12th seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia in the pre-quarter finals.