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Sindhu up, Saina out

- Srikanth advances
PV Sindhu in action

Singapore: Saina Nehwal’s poor form in international arena continued as she suffered a first round exit in the Singapore Open Super Series while PV Sindhu made her way to pre-quarter finals after a hard-fought victory in women’s singles, here, on Wednesday.

World No. 8 Saina fought for an hour and two minutes before losing 21-16, 15-21, 11-21 to lower-ranked Eriko Hirose of Japan.

Sindhu, seeded eighth, also had a tough time against Millicent Wiranto of Indonesia before securing a 21-9, 19-21, 22-20 victory in a closely-fought 56-minute match on the opening day of the main draw.

The first game saw a dominant Sindhu leading all through and taking it with ease. Wiranto, however, fought back brilliantly in the second game as she took a 13-9 lead before Sindhu levelled the score at 13-13. The duo was tied at 18-18 and then 19-19 before Wiranto grabbed two straight points to take the second game.

In the decider, the two players did not give any inch to the other in the thrilling contest. But, Sindhu saved the best for the last as she took three points on the trot after 17-17 to reach the game point.

Wiranto was not the one to throw in the towel easily and she fought back to make it 20-20. But, her resistance finally ended as Sindhu took two consecutive points to take the third game and the match.

Sindhu will take on Shizuka Uchida of Japan on Thursday for a place in the quarter finals.

In other matches, K Srikanth won his first round singles match against Takuma Ueda of Japan 23-21, 21-15. Srikanth take on seventh seed Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam in the pre-quarter finals.

However, Indian women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Chinese duo of Ying Luo and Yu Luo 15-21, 16-21 in the first round.

Other Indians in the fray —B Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy and PC Thulasi — advanced to the next round after registering contrasting victories.