The conditions tested Saina Nehwal more than her Kenyan rivals as India raced away to a resounding 5-0 victory in the mixed team championship of the Commonwealth badminton competition here on Monday.
Saina, who missed last evening's Opening Ceremony to stay focussed on the job ahead, learnt more about the shuttle quality and the on-court conditions of the Siri Fort Complex during the l1-minute lesson she imparted to Mercy Joseph.
The 21-11, 21-4 victory for Indian was expectedly easy but Saina had a thing or two to say about the speed of the shuttles.
“I think, they are faster than what we played with during the Asian championship (at the same venue this summer). I took some time to get adjusted to its pace. I have three more matches (in the league) and I am confident of getting familiar with the conditions,” said Saina.
Earlier, Chetan Anand opened India's campaign with a 14-minute victory over Victor Munga.
Chetan took his time on the court and won 10 of the last 11 points in the first game. In the second, he stayed comfortably ahead and converted his first match-point.
The men's doubles combination of Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar were simply ruthless against Munga and Patrick Ruto, winning 21-5, 21-5 in just 12 minutes.
India chose to rest G. Jwala in the women's doubles. Aparna Balan came in for Jwala and joined Ashwini Ponnappa to demolish Mercy Joseph and Anitah Alube 21-8, 21-6 in 11 minutes.
Jwala then teamed up with her trusted partner V. Diju to complete India's first-day's work with another easy 21-8, 21-5 win over Anna Ng'ang'a and Fredrick Gituku, also in 11 minutes.
Malaysia, the favourite, beat Isle of Man and Seychelles to inch closer to top Group ‘A'.
Singapore also recorded two 5-0 victories at the expense of Northern Ireland and Jamaica in Group ‘B'.
England did the same in Group 'C' by putting Falkland Islands and Uganda aside.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games