Birmingham : World number three Saina Nehwal kicked off her All England Open badminton tournament on a winning note as she swept aside Canada’s Michelle Li here at the Barclaycard Arena.
The 25-year-old outclassed her Canadian opponent 21-17, 21-12 in the opening round of the prestigious tournament that lasted 43 minutes.
Meanwhile, 12th-ranked P.V Sindhu suffered a major blow as she was knocked out of the tournament after going down 21-18, 17-21, 12-21 in the opening round at the hands of Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand.
In the men’s singles event, Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth also advanced to the second round after claiming straight-game wins in their respective matches.
Praneeth claimed an upset win over second seed Lee Chong Wei after defeating the Malaysian rival 24-22, 22-20.
It was Lee’s biggest defeat since he made his comeback after missing last year’s event due to doping suspension.
In contrast, Srikanth eased past England’s Rajiv Ouseph 21-17, 21-12 to progress through to the second round.
Meanwhile, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa crashed out of the mixed doubles event after tasting 24-26, 17-21 defeat at the hands of Netherlands pair of Samantha Barning and Iris Tabeling.(ANI)