Denmark Open: Sameer, Saina progress; Sindhu out


Odense (Denmark) -- Saina Nehwal rallied to carve out a hard-fought opening win, but PV Sindhu crashed out of the Denmark Open with a stunning loss to American Beiwen Zhang in the women's singles event.

Saina defeated Hong Kong's Ngan Yi Cheung 20-22, 21-17, 24-22 in a draining clash that lasted 81 minutes.

However, third seed Sindhu lost 17-21, 21-16, 18-21 to Zhang in another tough opening encounter that lasted 56 minutes.

Moving to the next round in the men's singles event was Sameer Verma, who fought past China's World No.2 Shi Yuqi 21-17, 21-18 in 44 minutes.

The mixed-doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and S Rankireddy exited after losing 17-21, 18-21 to the Korean team of Seung Jae Seo and Yu Jung Chae.

In a tense match, Saina had to endure a stiff challenge from Cheyung, who she last played back in 2016. The match went down to the last point with the Indian saving two match points at 21-20 and 22-21 in the final game to emerge victorious and move ahead.

Saina was also guilty of frittering away a match point of her own when she led 20-19 in the final game.

For Sindhu, this was the third consecutive time that she lost to Zhang. The American had defeated Sindhu in the Indian Open final in February earlier this year.