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Badminton: Sindhu wins, Saina beaten in First Round of China Open

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Rio Olympic silver medalist P.V. Sindhu won her opening match while compatriot Saina Nehwal crashed out in the first round of the women's singles category on a mixed day for Indian shuttlers at the China Open badminton tournament on Wednesday.

Sindhu, playing her first tournament since the Olympics, coasted to a 21-12, 21-16 win over Chia Hsin Lee of Taiwan in her round of 16 match at the Haixia Olympic Sport Center in Fuzhou.

Sindhu, who was the runner-up at the Rio Olympics earlier this year, will face Beiwen Zhang of Singapore in the quarter-finals. Zhang defeated Ya Ching Hsu of Taiwan 21-16, 21-18 in her campaign opener.

Saina meanwhile, lost to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand in a hard fought encounter. The London Olympics bronze medallist lost the opening game before staging a strong fightback to win the second game and level the scores. Porntip, however, dominated the third and decisive game to script a 21-16, 19-21, 21-14 win.

Porntip will now take on He Bingjiao of China in her next match. She defeated compatriot Zhang Yiman 20-22, 21-17, 21-19.

Saina was playing her first tournament since recovering from a knee surgery she underwent in August after the Rio Olympics. She was the fourth seed at the event, Sindhu is seeded 7th.

Top seed Carolina Marin defeated Shuting Ji in 36 minutes, 21-18, 21-15 in her tournament opener today.

Indians had mixed results in the men's singles section as well. H.S. Prannoy entered the quarter-finals following an easy 21-13, 21-13 win over Ka Long Angus Ng of Hong Kong. Prannoy will take on Bin Qiao of China in the last eight stage. Qiao outclassed Tien Chen Chou of Taiwan 21-11, 21-13 in a one-sided affair.

In another men's singles match, Ajay Jayaram defeated Zhu Siyuan of China 21-19, 20-22, 21-17 in an exciting encounter. Jayaram will face Wei Nan of Hong Kong in his next match. Nan got the better of South Korea's Wan Ho Son 21-16, 21-23, 21-15.

It was curtains for B. Sai Praneeth, however, as he lost 16-21, 9-21 to Marc Zwiebler of Germany in the first round.