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Malaysia Masters: Sindhu passes tough test, Saina out in opening round

PV Sindhu in action at the 2022 Indonesia Open Shi Tang/Getty Images

PV Sindhu earned a hard-fought win over China's He Bing Jiao, HS Prannoy, B Sai Praneeth and Parupalli Kashyap moved to the second round with contrasting wins while Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma bowed out in the opening round of the Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Seventh seed Sindhu took close to an hour to knock out world No 9 Bing Jiao 21-13, 17-21, 21-15 and move to the second round. It was her second first-round match against the Chinese player and a good win after she had suffered an opening loss at Indonesia Open Super 1000 last month in straight games. Bing Jiao still leads the head to head 10-9.

Later, Saina Nehwal was out in the first round of the Super 500 tournament, losing to world No 20 Kim Ga Eun from South Korea 21-16, 17-21, 14-21.

In men's singles, Verma broke hardly broke a sweat against Kevin Cordon, registering an easy 21-8, 21-9 win over Guatemalan in less than half an hour while Kashyap came back from a one-game deficit to dispatch Tommy Sugiarto 16-21, 21-16, 21-16. Verma will take on Li Shi Feng in the pre-quarterfinals while Kahsyap faces a tough challenge in sixth Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.

However, it was the end of the road for Sameer Verma, who went down fighting to fourth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-10, 12-21, 14-21.

Prannoy sailed into the second round after he claimed a comfortable 21-19, 21-14 victory over Brice Leverdez of France.

The women's doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 19-21, 21-18, 16-21 to the Indonesian duo of Fabriana Kusuma and Amalia Pratiwi in a hard-fought game that lasted a little more than an hour.

With PTI Inputs