New Delhi: As widely predicted, Saina Nehwal defeated Belaetrix Manuputi of Indonesia 21-12, 21-15 to enter the second round of India Open here on Wednesday at the Siri Fort Complex.
The world No.2, coming off a three-week layoff, did not look rusty on the court and sailed past Balaetrix in the first game. Saina toyed with the Indonesian by forcing long rallies and employing some well-disguised drop shots.
But as the second game began, Saina started to make some unforced errors and that allowed Belaetrix to grab four consecutive points. However, the Indian got her act together to seal the match 21-15 in 33 minutes.
"It is a good start to the tournament and I'm happy with my performance. Moreover the three weeks rest before the start of the event helped me," said Saina after the match before giving credit to her opponent. "She is a talented player and plays well at the net but I was ready for her cross-court shots.
She was slow on the court and I was ready for the long rallies and more importantly my smash was good today and that earned me quite a lot of points."
Saina next meets Yui Hashimoto of Japan in the second round on Thursday and believes she is prepared for the challenge."She is an upcoming player and I have seen her videos and I'm prepared for her," said Saina.
In the other important women's singles match, world No.16 PV Sindhu came from behind to beat Yao Xue of China 17-21, 21-18, 21-14 in her first round match. After trailing in the first game she fought her way back to defeat her opponent.
In the men's singles, India's Prannoy HS defeated Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-17, 22-20 and Sai Praneeth thrashed Japan's Kento Momota 21-17, 21-11. Prannoy has a tough second round match against Taufik Hidayat on Thursday.