- Saina Nehwal reached the pre-quarterfinals only after her first win
- The pair of Trisa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand also made a winning debut
- Saina Nehwal benefited from Nazomi Okohara’s injury
World Badminton Championship: London Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal started her campaign with a win at the World Badminton Championships in Tokyo on Tuesday. She also made it to the pre-quarterfinals with a straight game win over Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi. Saina defeated Ngan Yi 21-19, 21-9 in 38 minutes in the first round match. The 32-year-old, who won silver and bronze medals at the World Championships, went straight to the last-16.
How did Saina reach the pre-quarters straight from a win?
This was Saina Nehwal’s first match in the World Championship and only after her first win, she went straight to the last-16 i.e. pre-quarterfinals. This happened because her second-round rival Nazomi Okuhara withdrew from the tournament due to an injury. This gave Saina a ‘bye’.
Saina won the match even after falling behind
Saina Nehwal took a 12-11 lead against Ngan Yi in the first game after going 4-7. Saina faced a tough challenge for a point each but maintained her lead. After this the score reached the level at 19-19. However, the Indian shuttler then went on to win the first game by scoring two consecutive points. Saina took a more aggressive approach in the second game and in the meantime Ngan Yi was also seen struggling. Saina had held an 11-6 lead till the interval. Even after this, he retained his lead and won this game and match.
What was the result of the other matches?
Apart from Saina, the Indian women’s pair of Trisa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand also started their campaign with a win today. The Indian pair didn’t have much trouble to beat Malaysia’s Yen Yuan Lo and Valerie Seo 21-11 21-13. The women’s pair of Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam also advanced to the second round after beating Italy’s Martina Corsini and Judith Maier 21-8, 21-14 in 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, the mixed doubles pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Devgan suffered a defeat. The Indian pair lost 10-21, 21-23 to Gregory Myers and Jenny Moore of England. Men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala also bowed out of the tournament after losing 14-21, 18-21 to France’s Fabian Delreau and William Villegar. Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar also lost 14-21, 17-21 to the 14th seeded Thai pair of Supak Jomkoh and Supisara Pawsampran in mixed doubles.