Basel: Birthday girl Saina Nehwal overcame a spirited challenge from French qualifier Sashina Vignes Waran to set up a second-round clash with Japanese Eriko Hirose in the Wilson Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold in Switzerland.
World number four Saina, who turned 21 on Thursday, shrugged off initial jittery to notch up a 23-21, 21-9 victory over Sashina in her campaign opener in the women’s singles on Wednesday night.
The second seed Indian will now clash with Eriko, who had spoilt her campaign in the All England Championships last week with a straight-game defeat in the quarterfinals in Birmingham.
Eriko, meanwhile, beat Judith Meulendijks of the Netherlands in the first round of the Swiss Open.
In the men’s singles, Ajay Jayaram will take on 16th seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in the third round after notching up a hard-fought 22-20 22-20 win over Tan Yuhan of Belgium in the second round. Jayaram had beaten Vittinghus in the second qualifying round of the All England to enter the main draw.
Anand Pawar, however, lost to fifth seed Wan Ho Shon of Korea 21-17, 15-21, 18-21.
India’s number one P Kashyap had become a first round casualty after losing 21-10, 19-21, 19-21 to Sven Eric Kastens of Germany on the opening day.
Commonwealth Games gold medallists pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will take on seventh seeds Japanese combo and All England finalists Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito in the second round after beating Germany duo of Johanna Goliszewski and Carla Nelte 21-15, 21-13.
However, Jwala and V Diju could not conjure up the same magic and lost to eighth seeded Korean pair of Lee Yong Dae and Ha Eun Jung 14-21, 9-21 in the second round.
In men’s doubles category, Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas beat Michael Fuchs and Oliver Roth 21-19, 21-16 and will take on sixth seeds Mads Conrad-Petersen and Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark in the second round. PTI
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