Rejuvenated Saina Nehwal advances to pre-quarterfinals of the BWF World Championships

Indian veteran shuttler Saina Nehwal kicked off her BWF World Championships campaign with a straight-game win over Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi on Tuesday. Saina Nehwal produced an excellent performance and showed enough glimpses of her glorious past to claim a dominant 21-19, 21-9 win over Cheung Ngan Yi. A former world no.1, Saina took just 38 minutes to outplay Ngan Yi in her opening round. India’s senior and most experienced shuttler thus moved into the pre-quarterfinals as her second-round opponent, Nozomi Okuhara pulled out of the tournament due to an injury.

The 32-year-old Indian shuttler bounced back to recover from 4-7. She continued with her rhythm and played good mind games to turn the tables as 12-11 just after the interval. Saina kept herself in contention throughout the game and fought well to earn each point.

Saina, who has a silver and bronze from the Worlds, continued to maintain a narrow one-point lead over Ngan Yi. The Indian held her head up to move ahead with the two crucial points at 19-19 and bagged the opening game.

Saina then switched gears and played a more attacking game in the second game. On the other side of the net, Ngan Yi struggled to level with her opponent. Saina grabbed the opportunity to take an 11-6 advantage at the interval. The Indian went on to play with the momentum and marched ahead to eventually seal the contest without much fuss.

Indian women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand got off to a winning start at the ongoing BWF Worlds. The Indian duo hardly broke a sweat as they earned a significant 21-11, 21-13 win over Malaysian pair Yeen Yuan Low and Valeree Siow.

The young women’s pair of Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam also made a winning start. The Indian duo progressed to the second round after defeating the Italian duo of Martina Corsini and Judith Mair in straight games 21-8, 21-14 in just 30 minutes.

However, it was the end of the road for the men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala as they went down 14-21, 18-21 to France duo Fabien Delure and William Villeger. The mixed doubles pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan also crashed out of the Worlds event, losing 10-21, 21-23 to England’s Gregory Mairs and Jenny Moore.

The mixed doubles duo of Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar also failed to make it to the next round, losing 14-21 17-21 to Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran of Thailand.