Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth’s woeful run continued as they suffered first-round exits from the season-opening Malaysia Open here on Tuesday.
Saina, who endured a tough 2022 battling multiple injuries and a lack of form, went down 12-21, 21-17, 12-21 to Han Yue of China in the $1,250,000 Super 1000 tournament.
Having lost the first game, Saina, who has slipped to world No.30, fought back to force a decider in a women’s singles first-round match. But Han built a sizable lead to take the fixture comfortably.
Former world No.1 Srikanth’s surrender was tamer. The world championship silver medallist, who has also been struggling for form recently, was stunned by the unseeded Kenta Nishimoto of Japan 19-21, 14-21 in 42minutes.
Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly, in women’s doubles, were the only Indian badminton players to win on the first day of the tournament. The Indian duo beat Hong Kong’s Yeung Nga Ting and Yeung Pui Lam 21-14, 21-19 to enter the round of 16.
The men’s doubles pair of Krishna Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Panjala lost their match to South Korea’s Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae 21-10, 21-18 in the first round.
It was also curtains for Akarshi Kashyap who was outplayed 10-21, 8-21 by Wen Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei in her women’s singles opener.
Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu will take on Carolina Marin on Wednesday while Lakshya Sen will face HS Prannoy.