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Saina, Srikanth advance in World Championships
Copenhagen, Aug 26: Leading Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth lived up to their reputations and notched up wins in their respective categories in the World Championships at the Ballerup Super Arena here Tuesday.
After receiving a first round bye, the seventh-seeded Saina needed only 31 minutes to beat Russian Natalia Perminova 21-11, 21-9 in the women’s singles second round to take an unbeaten 2-0 record in career meetings.
The Olympic bronze medallist totally dominated the first game and then won nine consecutive points at the start of the second to take a massive 10-1 lead. It was too much to ask for the World No.44 Russian to overcome the deficit and the Hyderabadi kept winning points to enter the pre-quarterfinals.
The World No.7 Indian will next take on the winner of the match between Japanese 13th seed Sayaka Takahashi and Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva.
Later in the day, Srikanth had a tough men’s singles first round outing but came out the winner over Slovenian Iztok Utrosa. The highest ranked Indian took 47 minutes to beat Utrosa 21-11, 11-21, 21-12.
Meanwhile, Mumbai's Ajay Jayaram, who is making a comeback to the circuit for the first time since January, advanced to the second round as Japanese fourth seed Kenichi Tago had pulled out before the event had started. Jayaram will next face Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in his first competitive match in seven months.
However, it was the end of the road for Kerala’s mixed doubles combine Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan who went down to German sixth seeds Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels in only 33 minutes. Fuchs and Michels defeated the Indian pair 21-14, 21-11 in the second round.
Elsewhere, Thai pair Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai also got a walkover as Indians Prajakta Sawant and Arathi Sara Sunil pulled out of the tourney.
Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy will play their men’s doubles match later in the day.