Returning to the court after a two-month break, Saina Nehwal began her campaign in style, reaching the second round with a straight-game victory over Yeon Ju Bae of Korea at the Denmark Open here on Wednesday.
The London Olympics bronze medallist prevailed 21-17, 21-17 over Bae in a 39-minute women’s singles match.
In the men’s singles first round, qualifier Anand Pawar put up a fight against fifth-seeded Sho Sasaki before going down 14-21, 21-15, 21-11 in a 54-minute match.
Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu also fell in the first hurdle, losing 20-22, 19-21 to Indonesian pair of Angga Pratama and Ryan Agung Saputra in the men’s doubles.
Saina, ranked fourth in the world, took time to get off the mark and was behind 1-4 initially.
But, she soon found her rhythm to make it 7-7.
Both players were fighting tooth and nail till 17-17 before the Indian raised her game to reel off four straight points to pocket the first game.
In the second game, Saina opened up a 5-1 lead and kept her nose ahead throughout to cruise to the second round.
Saina will take on Japan’s Minatsu Mitani in the second round on Thursday.