World No. 3 Saina overcame Russia’s Olga Golovanova 21-5, 21-4 in only 23 minutes in their first ever encounter. In the third round, Saina will face Thailand’s 15th seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk against whom the Hyderabadi has a 5-0 record.
Saina’s citymate Sindhu reached the pre-quarters after she overcame Japan’s Kaori Imabeppu in one of the longest matches of the day. The 10th seed won 21-19, 19-21, 21-17 in one hour and 11 minutes. The Hyderabadi now has a 2-0 record over the Japanese.
Sindhu next faces an extremely tough task against second seed and defending champion Yihan Wang of China, who beat the Indian at the Sudirman Cup in May in their only meeting.
However, it was the end of the road for Ajay Jayaram who started the tournament on a promising note. Jayaram lost to Spain’s Pablo Abian 9-21, 17-21 in 31 minutes after ousting Hong Kong’s 12th seed Wing Ki Wong in the first round.
India’s doubles campaign also came to an end as Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu also lost their men’s doubles second round match.
Indonesian 15th seeds Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Markis Kido beat the Kerala shuttlers 21-15, 13-21, 21-17 in 40 minutes.