Coming back to life: Saina Nehwal shows tremendous recovery to reach pre-quarterfinals, Gayatri-Treesa too winAugust 24, 2022
India’s Saina Nehwal produced a fine performance to begin her BWF World Championships campaign with a straight-game win over Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi here today.
A former world No. 1, Nehwal took 38 minutes to dispatch Ngan Yi 21-19 21-9 in her opening round clash.
The 32-year-old Nehwal, who has a silver and bronze from the Worlds, thus moved into the pre-quarterfinals as her second-round opponent, Nozomi Okuhara, pulled out due to an injury.
The women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand also made a winning start. The Indian duo hardly broke a sweat as it inflicted a 21-11 21-13 defeat on Malaysia’s Low Yeen Yuan and Valeree Siow.
Youngsters Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam also progressed to the second round after beating the Italian duo of Martina Corsini and Judith Mair 21-8 21-14 in 30 minutes.
However, it was the end of the road for the mixed doubles pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan as they went down 10-21 21-23 to Gregory Mairs and Jenny Moore of England. Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar were also ousted after a 14-21 17-21 loss to the 14th-seeded pair of Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran of Thailand.
The men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala lost 14-21 18-21 to France’s Fabien Delrue and William Villeger.
Saina the aggressor
Nehwal had showed signs of regaining her form during her stunning win over China’s He Bingjiao en route her first quarterfinals appearance in 16 months at the Singapore Open in July.
Things were looking pretty good today too as she recovered from a 4-7 deficit to take a 12-11 lead just after the interval in the first game. She maintained the slender lead over Ngan before moving ahead with the two crucial points at 19-19 to pocket the opening game.
Nehwal then switched gears in the second as Ngan struggled. Soon, the Indian moved to an 11-6 advantage at the interval and marched ahead to eventually seal the contest without much fuss.