Saina battles into second round of Indonesia Open

Jakarta: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal began her campaign at the Indonesia Super Series Premier tournament on a positive note after claiming a hard-fought opening round win in the women’s singles contest here on Tuesday.

Saina, a three-time champion at Jakarta, was made to work hard by Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei as she won the match 21-11, 19-21, 21-15 to progress through to the second round. She will next face Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani on Wednesday.

Saina is eyeing her maiden title of the season after making a slew of semifinal finishes earlier this year. The world number eighth failed to breach the last-four stage in the Swiss Grand Prix Gold, India Super Series, Malaysia Super Series Premier Open and Asia Badminton Championships.

On the other hand, Indian mixed doubles pair of Manu Attri and Ashwini Ponnappa suffered a 14-21, 25-27 loss to Singapore duo of Yong Kai Terry Hee and Wei Han Tan despite producing a valiant performance in a contest that lasted 30 minutes.