Kowloon (Hong Kong ): Saina Nehwal went down fighting to world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi while P V Sindhu and Sameer Verma notched up contrasting wins in the Hong Kong Open World Tour Super 500 badminton tournament here on Wednesday.
World No. 9 Saina lost 21-10, 10-21, 19-21 to the Japanese in the opening round.
Olympic silver medallist Sindhu continued her consistent run as she recovered from a mid-game slump to surpass Thailand's Nitchaon Jindapol 21-15, 13-21, 21-17 in the opening round which lasted a little over an hour. It was Sindhu's fourth win over the Thai player.
Sindhu, who won three major silver medals this season - Commonwealth Games, World Championship and Asian Games - will take on Sung Ji Hyun next.
The 23-year-old from Hyderabad has a superior 8-5 head-to-head record against the Korean.
In the men's singles, Sameer, who clinched the Swiss Open and Hyderabad Open this year, saw off another Thai Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-17, 21-14 to set up a clash with China's Olympic champion Chen Long.
However, former Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth was stunned by Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand in a 62-minute opener.
Praneeth had a 3-0 record against Khosit ahead of the match, but it didn't matter as he lost 21-16, 11-21, 15-21.
The women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy, ranked 26th in the world, put up an impressive performance against second seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi before losing 21-18, 10-21, 8-21.