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Badminton Asia Championships: Saina wins opening match, Lakshya makes first round exit

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Saina Nehwal

Manila: London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal won her opening match but Lakshya Sen and B Sai Praneeth made first-round exits from the Badminton Asia Championships here on Wednesday.

Saina, who has been on a comeback trial after recovering from some nagging injuries, eked out a 21-15 17-21 21-13 win over Sim Yujin of South Korea.

But world championships bronze medal winner Sen was stunned by the unseeded Li Shi Feng of China. The fifth seed Indian lost 21-12 10-21 19-21 in his opening round men’s singles tie that lasted 56 minutes.

World no 19 Praneeth suffered a straight game 17-21 13-21 defeat against Jonatan Christie of Indonesia. It was also the end of the road for Aakarshi Kashyap, who lost 15-21 9-21 against Japanese top seed Akane Yamaguchi in the women’s singles.

Both the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Bhat K and Shikga Gautam and Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker also made opening round exits after losing in straight games.

While Bhat and Gautam went down 19-21 12-21 to Anna Ching Yik Cheong and Teoh Mei Xing of Malaysia, Singhi and Thaker lost 15-21 11-21 against seventh-seeded Malaysian pair of Pearly Tan and Muralitharan Thinaah.

Later in the day, PV Sindhu, Malvika Bansod and Kidambi Srikanth will be in action in their respective singles matches.

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