Saina, Sindhu advance; Jwala-Ashwini out

Paris, Oct 23 (IANS) Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu advanced to the women's singles Round 2 but comeback doubles pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost at the French Open Super Series here Wednesday.

Sindhu accounted for South Korea's Ji Hyun Sung as she thrashed the sixth seed 21-8, 21-12 in less than half an hour at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin. The World No. 10 showed her superb prowess to beat Ji and win her third consecutive match. The South Korean has been in excellent form lately, having beaten Saina and reaching the final of the Denmark Open Super Series Premier last week.

Fourth seed Saina Nehwal had to overcome Thailand's Nichaon Jindapon in a tough 52-minute battle to progress to the pre-quarters. The World No. 4 won 12-21, 21-16, 21-13 to take a 2-0 lead in career meets over the Thai.

In the next round, the Olympic bronze medallist faces a tricky challenge in the face of Ji's compatriot, Yeon Ju Bae. Though the Hyderabadi has a 5-3 head-to-head against Yeon, it was the South Korean who dashed Saina's hopes at the World Championships in August.

In another women's singles clash, Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk beat Nagpur girl Arundhati Pantawane 21-17, 16-21, 21-14 in 45 minutes in the first round.

Earlier in the day, Indonesians Gebby Ristiyani Imawan and Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah took care of India's most successful women's doubles combine Jwala and Ashwini. The duo were making a comeback, playing their first match together since the London Games, and lost 18-21, 21-13, 17-21 in 50 minutes in the first round.

It was a good day for Indian men's singles shuttlers as Anand Pawar and K. Srikanth scored victories in their first round clashes. While Mumbai's Pawar beat French Thomas Rouxel 21-9, 24-22 in 37 minutes, Srikanth scored an upset win over Hong Kong's World No. 12 Wing Ki Wong. The Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold winner took the match 21-14, 17-21, 21-10 in 47 minutes to level his head-to-head to one-all.

In the second round, Srikanth will take on his old nemesis, sixth seed Boonsak Ponsana, whom the Indian beat in the final of Thailand Open to take the title.

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