Saina Nehwal was back to something like her best at the Barcelona Spain Masters in the first round where she defeated an unseeded Yvonne Li of Germany 21-16, 21-14 in straight games to progress into the second round of the $170,000 tournament at the Vall D'hebron Olympic Sports Centre.
The second-highest ranked Indian woman badminton player, who is seeded fifth in the tournament, took 35 minutes to wrap up her match with the German shuttler unable to get to grips with the London 2012 bronze medallist.
Leading 11-8 at the break of the first game, Saina Nehwal didn’t let her guard down and wrapped the game 21-16 in no time to lead 1-0 in the match. The scoreline was identical at the break of the second game and this time the Indian won 10 of the next 16 points to wrap up the match 21-16, 21-14.
Kidambi Srikanth sees off resilient Subhankar Dey
It was an all-Indian first-round clash at the Barcelona Spain Masters in the men’s singles category, where Kidambi Srikanth took on Subhankar Dey.
The former world no.1 was taken right to the wire by Subhankar Dey in the first game that ended 23-21.
The second game remained close as well with no shuttler willing to offer easy points. After Subhankar Dey led 11-8 at the break, Kidambi Srikanth came back to level proceedings at 15-15 before eventually sealing the match 23-21, 21-18.
Parupalli Kashyap sees an early exit
Parupalli Kashyap was drawn against Brazil’s Ygor Coelho in his first-round match and the world no. 48 South American shuttler, ranked 23 places below the Indian badminton veteran in BWF world rankings, was expected to have a hard time.
However, while Ygor Coelho was largely non-competitive in the first game against Parupalli Kashyap that the Indian badminton player won 21-9, the Brazilian raised the tempo in the second game and ended up winning 21-18 to level the match.
The third and deciding game, however, couldn’t see the two competing till the end as Parupalli Kashyap retired after the break with an injury when the scoreline read 14-12 in the Brazilian’s favour. Ygor Coelho advanced into the second round 9-21, 21-18, 14-12.
In other matches, HS Prannoy went down 18-21, 15-21 in straight games to Malaysia’s Daren Liew while Ajay Jayaram got the better of France’s Christo Popov 21-14, 21-12 to advance into the second round.
India’s only mixed doubles match of the day saw Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy defeating Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Bøje 10-21, 21-16, 21-17 to advance to the next round of the Barcelona Spain Masters.
Where you can watch Barcelona Spain Masters 2020
The semi-finals and final of the tournament will be broadcast across Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD and Star Sports 3 on Saturday (February 22) and Sunday (February 23) in India.