Nanjing (China): Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth notched up comfortable victories over their respective opponents to make an impressive start at the BWF World Championships here on Tuesday.
Saina, who won a silver and bronze in the earlier editions of the championship, defeated Turkey’s Aliye Demirbag 21-17 21-8 in the second round to set up a pre-quarterfinal clash with 2013 champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand.
The Olympic medallist Indian had received a bye in the first round. Fifth seed Srikanth dispatched Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen 21-15 21-16 in his campaign opener to join compatriots HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and B Sai Praneeth, who received a walkover after his opponent, Korea’s Son Wan Ho, pulled out in the second round. Srikanth, who won four titles last season, will face Spain’s Pablo Abian next, while Praneeth will meet another spaniard, Luis Enrique Penalver.
In other matches, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa staved off a challenge from 15th seeded German pair of Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich, registering a 10-21 21-17 21-18 win to enter the mixed doubles pre-quarterfinals.
(With agency inputs)