Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal struggled her way to the second-round of the French Super Series badminton tournament after defeating German Juliane Schenk in a thrilling first-round match in Paris.
Eighth seed Saina beat Juliane 21-18, 19-21, 21-13 in a 53-minute hard-fought battle.
Jwala Gutta, meanwhile, struck a double bonanza as she notched up wins both in the mixed doubles and women’s doubles category with her partners V Diju and Ashwini Ponnappa respectively.
The 26-year-old Hyderabadi first teamed up with Ashwini to beat the Dane pair of Line Damkjaer Kruse and Mie Schjott-Kristensen 21-17, 21-18 and later combined with Diju to notch up a 21-19, 21-15 victory over the French pair of Baptiste Careme and Laura Choinet in 28 minutes.
Indian men’s doubles combo of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas also kept the tricolour fluttering, beating the French pair of Maxime Renault and Sylvain Ternon 21-14, 21-15 in just 21 minutes.
However, it was curtains for Anup Sridhar, Chetan Anand and Arvind Bhat, who became a first-round casualties in men’s singles.
Sridhar was no match for top seed Chinese Lin Dan and lost 13-21, 9-21 in just 26 minutes, while Chetan squandered a first game lead to go down 15-21, 22-20, 21-16 to sixth seed Dane Joachim Persson in a 45-minute battle.
Arvind’s fate was no different as the strapping Indian lost 14-21, 19-21 to Dicky Palyama of The Netherlands. Among other Indians in fray, Aditi Mutatkar went down to Anu Nieminen 19-21, 21-23 in the women’s singles.
The Indian men’s doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Jishnu Sanyal also put up a fight before losing to the English combo of Chris Langridge and Robin Middleton 21-18, 8-21, 14-21 in 44 minutes.